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LORD BYRON'S 

CAIN, A MYSTERY: 

WITH 

N O T E 8; 



WHEREIN THE 



RELIGION OF THE BIBLE 



IS CONSIDERED IN REFERENCE TO ACKNOWLEDGED 



anti Iira0on. 



BY HARDING GRANT; 

Author of " Chancery Practice" 



"JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT." 
"PROVE ALL THINGS." 
"JUSTIFY THE WAYS OF GOD." 



LONDON: 
WILLIAM CROFTS, 19, CHANCERY LANE. 

M.DCCC. 







4356 

Ai 

/830 




LORD BYRON'S 

PREFACE. 

THE following scenes are entitled " a Mystery," in 
conformity with the ancient title annexed to dramas 
upon similar subjects, which were styled " Mysteries, or 
Moralities." The author has by no means taken the 
same liberties with his subject which were common for- 
merly, as may be seen by any reader curious enough to 
refer to those very profane productions, whether in Eng- 
lish, French, Italian, or Spanish. The author has endea- 
voured to preserve the language adapted to his characters ; 
and where it is (and this is but rarely) taken from actual 
Scripture^ he has made as little alteration, even of words, 
as the rhythm would permit.* The reader will recollect 
that the book of Genesis does not state that Eve was 
tempted by a demon, but by "the Serpent;" and that 
only because he was " the most subtil of all the beasts of 
the field." AVhatever interpretation the Rabbins and the 
Fathers may have put upon this, I must take the words 

* Some variations will be occasionally noticed. G. 



vi LORD BYRON'S PREFACE. 

as I find them, and reply with Bishop Watson upon simi- 
lar occasions, when the Fathers were quoted to him, as 
Moderator in the schools of Cambridge, " Behold the 
Book!" holding up the Scripture.* It is to be recol- 
lected that my present subject has nothing to do with 
the New Testament, to which no reference can be here 
made without anachronism.+ With the poems upon simi- 
lar topics I have not been recently familiar. Since I was 
twenty, I have never read Milton ; but I had read him 
so frequently before, that this may make little difference. 
Gesner's " Death of Abel" I have never read since I was 
eight years of age at Aberdeen. The general impression 
of my recollection is delight; but of the contents I remem- 

* Certainly, the scriptures are the only rule and authority. But 
then those scriptures must be the subject affair reasoning and criticism, 
derived from right sources, in order to be understood in some parts of 
them. For instance Bishop Watson, I presume, would have referred to 
reason and common sense, and perhaps other legitimate authority, ia 
explaining those words of Jesus Christ "This is my Body:" he 
would not, I must suppose, have "held up the book" in order to prove 
that Christ's human body was literally eaten in the wafer or bread in 
the celebration of the Lord's Supper. And so of other things. There- 
fore the mere " holding up the book" is not always sufficient But in 
general it is. Yet again, it is not when the same passage is differently 
rendered or understood by different individuals. And individuals 
have a right to differ. In such cases must not reference be had to ana- 
logy, and other rational aids to a true interpretation ? G. 

t Yet it will be seen throughout the Notes, that his Lordship has 
many allusions, if not references, to the New Testament. G. 




LORD BYRON'S PREFACE. vii 

ber only that Cain's wife was called Mabala, and Abel's 
Thirza: in the following pages I have called them "Adah" 
and " Zillah," the earliest female names which occur in 
Genesis j they were those of Lamech's wives : those of 
Cain and Abel are not called by their names. Whether, 
then, a coincidence of subject may have caused the same 
in expression, I know nothing, and care as little. 

The reader will please to bear in mind (what few 
choose to recollect) that there is no allusion to a future 
state in any of the books of Moses, nor indeed in the 
Old Testament. For a reason for this extraordinary 
omission he may consult "Warburton's Divine Legation;" 
whether satisfactory or not, no better has yet been as- 
signed. I have therefore supposed it new to Cain, with- 
out, I hope, any perversion of Holy Writ.* 

With regard to the language of Lucifer, it was diffi- 
cult for me to mak him talk like a Clergyman upon the 

* In the course of the Notes, it will be seen that I differ from Lord 
Byron aud Bishop Warburton on this subject. But to enter largely 
upon this discussion is no part of the business of the Notes. Yet a kind 
friend has since adverted to the instances of Elijah and Enoch; and 
Saul's idea that Samuel could be raised; also Daniel's declaration 
" they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and 
they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever: " 
also David's " waking up" after the divine likeness; et alia : and I ap- 
prehend that though it be generally admitted that the Old Testament 
abounds with less clear, indeed, yet, still, evident testimonies of a 
future state. G. 



viii LORD BYRON'S PREFACE. 

same subjects; but I have done what I could to restrain 
him within the bounds of spiritual politeness. 

If he disclaims having tempted Eve in the shape of 
the Serpent, it is only because the book of Genesis has 
not the most distant allusion to any thing of the kind, 
but merely to the Serpent in his serpentine capacity.* 

Note. The reader will perceive that the author 
has partly adopted in this poem the notion of Cuvier, 
that the world had been destroyed several times before 
the creation of man. This speculation, derived from the 
different strata and the bones of enormous and unknown 
animals found in them, is not contrary to the Mosaic 
account, but rather confirms it ; as no human bones have 
yet been discovered in those strata, although those of 
many known animals are found near the remains of the 
unknown. The assertion of Lucifer, that the pre-adamite 
world was also peopled by rational beings much more 
intelligent than man, and proportionably powerful to the 
mammoth, &c. &c. is, of course, a poetical fiction to help 
him to make out his case. 

I ought to add, that there is a " Tramelogedie" of 
Alfieri, called "Abel." I have never read that nor any 
other of the posthumous works of the writer, except his 
Life. 

* In the Notes, however, this is rather differently imagined. G. 



PREFACE 

TO THE 

NOTES. 

IT may possibly be thought by some, that the dra- 
matic poem which is the subject of the following annota- 
tions, is not a proper one for extended comment. The 
writer however has a contrary persuasion. Nor does he 
yield to the painful idea, that English minds, and the 
spirit and taste of the present age or day, are so sunken, 
and lost to rationality, as to be wholly and universally 
averse to serious subjects, merely because they are the 
opposite of light and frivolous, and invite thought; or 
because man's spiritual and eternal concerns form their 
prominent feature. 

In this undertaking, the author is aware that his 
professed province is that of Annotator. To guard 
against the censure of having sometimes exceeded his 
due limits, or drowned the text in his Notes; he avows 
that he intends no promulgation of the original (so well 
known) but for the sake of his accompanying comment, 
as a frank exposition of his own sentiments on the sub- 
jects (deemed by him important to human welfare) to 
which the original work affords occasion. He therefore 
relies upon immunity from condemnation on the score of 



X PREFACE TO THE NOTES. 

length at any rate ; whilst, on the score of sense, he is 
conscious he must bear the shock. Yet he entertains a 
hope, that, to some extent at least, the impressions, under 
the influence of which (satisfactorily to himself) he has 
written, may be destined to find their way to the minds 
of those who read; and if so, his end will be most happily 
gained. 

Should some, of more advanced years and mature 
knowledge, be of opinion that many, or all of the points 
which come under consideration, are so obviously self- 
antidoted, as neither to require nor deserve discussion ; 
he would observe, that those matters which some may 
think thus obvious and self-antidoted, may not be so to 
others ; especially those of earlier years, and consequently 
of less matured and established experience and reflection. 
In this latter class, there may be many, in whom PRIN- 
CIPLE is yet fluctuating. But he further thinks, that 
complete and desirable disentanglement of right from 
wrong, and truth from error, is often not to be effected 
on a cursory perusal. Many also who may read these 
lines, are well aware, that propositions are sometimes 
advanced not only concisely, but so artfully, that what 
is contained in very few words, may require the use of 
many to confute them effectually. They know too, that 
it is far easier, often, to feel intuitively, a position or 
assertion to be false, than to shew it to be so ; because 
several subjects or ideas are in such cases involved in the 
confutation of one short dictum, the unravelling of which 
therefore, to detect its error, may require both time and 
thought. Charges are easily made ; but often not so 



PREFACE TO THE NOTES. XI 

easily answered ; yet does not that imply that they can 
not be answered. And if something of this kind be not 
done on some occasions, error and vice triumph, and 
make progress and impression. The only way to prevent 
this (if desirable to be prevented ; which will not be 
denied by any who love the truth) is to expose, the self- 
contradiction very often, and always the irrationality, of 
error and of vice, by solid and convincing argument. 
He has also felt, that the very habit of practically extri- 
cating truth from falsehood, by a right process, may be 
useful to those who are beginning life. This effect he 
has sincerely intended. His success or failure in his 
attempt, he is aware, must be left to other judgment than 
his own. 

He disclaims preachment. Yet, if Lucifer himself 
be sometimes found to preach as well as to philosophize, 
his annotator perhaps may be excusable, if his annotation 
should occasionally also bear some unavoidable resem- 
blance to the text in that respect. And although he 
would not (if able) entrench upon that higher office ; 
yet he trusts it is not a literary, or any other offence in 
a layman for laymen also are not forbidden to consult for 
souls if he venture to express opinions connected with 
spiritual and religious, as well as moral and philosophical 
subjects, where and when the occasion seems to demand 
it. He relies too on not being inculpated (for the topics 
are sometimes, as he conceives, important) nor too closely 
curtailed, if he be found using the privilege of an English- 
man (friend to all constitutional and righteous government) 
in expressing his mind freely upon matters he deems too 



' 



XH PREFACE TO THE NOTES. 

interesting to his fellow creatures to be wholly omitted.* 
He cannot, moreover, promise, that some repetitions, 
or at least the same or similar matter, in different points 
of view, may not, sometimes, occur; but flatters himself 
this will not be felt as strictly tautological, but rather 
pardoned, from the nature of the original, which deals 
considerably in repetition, and which therefore makes 
repeated observation in some respects unavoidable; for 
error is so little ceremonious in point of repetition, (often 
her only weapon, and only hope,) that unless closely fol- 
lowed, she may escape; as, he thinks, will be perceived. 

I am not unaware of the existence of various other 
productions of the late Lord Byron's pen. And though 
I may sometimes express myself in favourable terms to- 
wards his Lordship [" render unto all their dues"] on 
account of several passages in this performance ; yet that 
apologizes not for any other of his Lordship's publications 
that may be justly deemed (if any such there be) objec- 
tionable ; and with which I am quite unacquainted. Nor 
can I pledge myself, that his Lordship was the subject of 
those religious persuasions, which I have, perhaps, occa- 
sionally, in these pages, indulged a hope of his having 

* The late venerable Granville Sharp once told the present writer, 
on an accidental (his first and last) interview, that the new Spanish 
Government could not stand, because it was not a righteous one ; and 
being therefore displeasing to the Almighty he would not sustain it. 
He wished them to have adopted the institutions of his admired 
ALTHED ! How far his ardent benevolence to his fellow men was more 
than simply and justifiably enthusiastic, and bordered on Quixotic, I 
shall leave to better judges than myself of that nice distinction. 



PREFACE TO THE NOTES. xiii 

been, from his introduction of matters directly connected 
with religious principles ; which I can hardly account 
for being so introduced, unless by an individual, who, at 
least, did not wholly contemn the subjects implicated in 
them. But the truth is, that in these Notes I have treated 
his Lordship precisely as I would have done any other 
author: that is, impartially and candidly, and as having 
no other knowledge of him than from the work before 
me. I have therefore given him deserved credit for all 
the good I have found ; and charged all of a contrary 
nature to the account of his intention of exemplifying evil 
characters and principles, for the purpose of so exposing 
them, that good may be educed from their confutation. 
It has appeared to me, that Christian charity, and common 
justice, (and what is that religion which embraces not 
charity and justice ?) demand this mode of dealing with 
the late Lord Byron ; of whom, although I know but 
little biographically, I am from that little quite un- 
prepared to think he was a man (even if less happily 
distinguished than some others in spiritual matters) capa- 
ble (that is, having the disposition) of deliberately and 
intentionally doing any thing he deemed hurtful, to any 
creature. That much, of a contrary character, including 
generosity and sympathy, did, indisputably, belong to 
him, is, I fancy, well known. That he was an oppressor, 
and therefore not truly noble, I have not found. What 
relates to his responsibility to his creator, belongs not to 
man to scan; or, if he do, with candour and caution, 
regulated by the word of truth : that word, which says, 
" he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first 



XIV PREFACE TO THE NOTES. 

stone." Yet sin is that which is opposed to God ; and 
which, unrenouuced by man, and uncancelled by the 
Redeemer of sinners, will separate from him ; FOREVER! 

As to Lucifer and Cain; them I have {ex ammo, and 
to the best of my ability) not spared : yet I hope not to 
the neglect of all required equity. 

Were it right that I should assign a reason for this 
publication so long after the appearance of its principal, 
I would say, that about nine years ago, on its first appear- 
ance, I read a few lines of it in the papers of the day, 
with great displeasure. Since which, I have been totally 
forgetful of it, until a few months past, when being very 
unexpectedly induced to read it through, I was much 
surprized at many parts of it, of a nature I little looked 
for, and was thence swayed considerably in the author's 
favour.* This impression was so strong, as to persuade 
me that an appropriate comment in the form of Notes, 
would, if under right guidance, be useful. 

If I should be thought to be sometimes rather dis- 
cursive, I can only say, I have been no more so than I 
judged needful for elucidation. 

With respect to novelty, it may possibly be difficult 
to shew to be incorrect that ancient scripture apophthegm, 
"there is nothing new under the sun." But whether 
that assertion can be literally and unqualifiedly sustained 
or not; it may I think, be safely affirmed, that at the 
present day at any rate, it is not quite the easiest of all 
possible things to produce what is absolutely new, in any 

* " Fiat justitia, ruat ccel urn." 



1 



PREFACE TO THE NOTES. XV 

department of whatever is " knowable" among men, 
within the whole range of material or intellectual being. 
Things or ideas may indeed be so combined, or modified, 
or dressed up, as to be new to many; yet others may 
quickly analyze, or disrobe them, and so discover their 
origin. What object of human attention is there which 
is not, more or less, comprehended in this liability ? 
Those subjects which form the ground work of the ensu- 
ing annotations are not least exposed to the observation 
of their want of novelty. Appropriate newness of exp res- 
sion and of application, to meet recent authors, seems 
therefore to be all, or nearly all, that can be expected in 
point of novelty ; but freshness of application is still not 
without its serviceableness, considering the proneness of 
man to forget, or to disregard. 

If, then, the " sage erudite profound" (to whom 
what can be new ?) find little or no claim to novelty in 
these Notes, he will not be surprized, nor will his can- 
dour suffer it to operate unfavourably to their author. I 
affect not that celebrity ; and if any affect it, can they 
stand the ordeal of severe scrutiny ? 

Still, short of such absolute newness of thinking or 
writing, there is doubtless much debateable space to be 
usefully, and even agreeably, occupied. This, according 
to my power, I aspire to take possession of; that is, my 
proper niche and modicum of that arena. When, however, 
I say agreeably occupied, I frankly do not mean on the 
present occasion, that sort of agreeableness which serves 
merely to pass an hour by amicsing, at the expence of all 
the higher, and infinitely more important and interesting, 



XVI PREFACE TO THE NOTES. 

realities of our nature. Amusements must fail with our 
bodies ; not so our higher percipient faculties. They 
must survive ; and if not rightly provided for in our pre- 
sent state of being, the pleasures and gratification of all 
our inferior and ill-suited imaginative amusements (whe- 
ther of more serious or frivolous cast) must be among 
our bitterest and never-ending annoyers. Ever-lasting and 
never-ending, are words of most serious import, when to 
the one is attached happiness, and to the other misery. 
Why will we not care to secure the first? 

I wish to add explicitly, that I have treated the pro- 
ceedings and speeches of Cain and Lucifer with the same 
earnestness as if they were existing and earthly personages; 
which I say for the purpose of disclaiming all personality 
towards the author of their characters. In fact 1 have felt 
myself to have had to do with Cain and Lucifer, and not 
with Lord Byron, throughout, except when I have met 
with sentiments which I conceived his Lordship to have 
held in common with myself. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 



MEN. 

ADAM. 

CAIN. 

ABEL. 

SPIRITS. 

ANGEL OF THE LORD. 
LUCIFER. 

WOMEN. 
EVE. 
ADAH. 
ZILLAH. 



CAIN. 

ACT I. SCENE I. 

The Land without Paradise. Time^ Sunrise. 

ADAM, EVE, CAIN, ABEL, ADAH, ZILLAH, 

Offering a Sacrifice. 

ADAM. 

GOD, the Eternal! Infinite! All- Wise! 
Who out of darkness on the deep didst make 
Light on the waters with a word all hail! 
Jehovah, with returning light, all hail! 

EVE. 

God! who didst name the day, and separate 
Morning from night, till then divided never 
Who didst divide the wave from wave, and call 
Part of thy work the firmament all hail! 

is 2 



4 CAIX, A MYSTERY, 

Note 1. 

ALTHOUGH it is not generally, if ever, expected of a dramatic 
writer to vouch for the existence, the attributes, or the principles 
of all his characters ; yet, the subjects and the objects of the work 
before us are, (unlike most others of that class,) of so paramount 
an interest to mankind, that it is scarcely to be supposed that 
Lord Byron's powerful and inquisitive mind should suffer them 
to employ his pen, without examining every source of evidence in 
their support. At least, this observation applies to the opinions 
which we must suppose him to have seriously entertained ; such, 
in particular, as those which respect the being, and the attributes, 
of deity. The preceding and subsequent addresses (beautiful 
and scriptural as they are) preclude therefore all doubt of the result 
of his lordship's enquiries on the subject of them, and convince 
us, were such proof wanting, that he was not atheistical in his 
sentiments. 

Yet, even indulging the hope that atheism, in the present 
day, has but few if any real votaries, it may still be not out of 
place here, to advert briefly to some of the considerations which, 
it is imagined, must, more or less, have influenced Lord Byron's 
mind, in rejecting that strange and unnatural system, as unworthy 
of reasonable beings. 

PLATO'S definition or description of atheism it is presumed 
will not, even at this distant period, be objected to. His name, 
however, high as it stands in the records of human intelligence 
and worth, is not thus introduced affectedly, or as if no modern 
and satisfactory explanation of the term were believed to be now 
extant. He is referred to rather, with the view of retaining some 
familiarity with the sages of antiquity, whose convictions of the 
existence of a supreme creator and moral governor of the uni- 
verse resulted from the investigations of the highest order of 
human intellect, uninfluenced by, because unacquainted with, 
the Christian revelation. And are there not some persons to whom, 



WITH NOTES. 5 

at this day, that circumstance is a recommendation on that sub- 
ject? Reason, therefore, in these ancients, (for Plato, though 
thus singled out, is but one of many, though perhaps the chief,) 
may surely be allowed to be unbiassed and uncorrupted by any 
supposed Christian errors or deceptions ; if indeed, which is not 
here allowed, any thing, truly Christian, can deceive or mislead. 

The definition or description then, which Plato (de leg. 1.x.) 
gives of atheism, appears to be this- First, that it is a denial of 
the existence of any supreme being, or original cause and maker 
of all things. Secondly, admitting such a supreme being, but 
denying his providence and government of human affairs. Third- 
ly, admitting the divine providence and observation of men's ac- 
tions, but denying his justice in punishing sin. For, (contrary to 
the opinions of some philosophizing geniuses of the present day,) the 
masters of reason of old time, and even before the introduction of 
Christianity, thought that there was such a moral quality affecting 
man as sin, and that it needed the forgiveness of the Moral Gover- 
nor of the universe. It is with the first only of these three aspects 
of atheism, as exhibited by Plato, that we have here to do. 

Lord Byron therefore had, as may reasonably be supposed, 
similar views to those of Plato, and the other ancients who 
thought with him, respecting the existence and attributes of deity. 
We may take a glance at the deductions of reason which probably 
influenced a mind like Lord Byron's, as well as that of Plato. 

Plato first demonstrates the Divine and Supreme Existence, 
from the universal consent of all times and nations; for where can 
a nation be found in the known world (such is Plato's reasoning) 
where deity has been wholly excluded from their belief; or, in 
other words, atheism publicly professed ? Plato therefore consi- 
ders " the hypothesis that there is a god, to be a self-evidencing 
first principle needing no argument for its confirmation, because 
nature itself instructs us therein ; it being that which the most 
profligate men cannot rase out of their souls." 

Such was the opinion of Plato indeed, and others of similar 



6 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

character, in his time. But some philosophers or geniuses, of mo- 
dern time, it must be confessed, think Plato and the rest not so 
remarkable for wisdom, as for folly, in that opinion. For, instead 
of concluding, with them, from a view and consideration of na- 
ture, as will presently be more particularly noticed, that there 
must be a god, these other philosophers, of this day, on the con- 
trary think, that such view and consideration of nature require 
them, in all reason, to believe, that there is no god. So, we 
are told, " the fool hath said in his heart there is no god." What 
are called the scriptures therefore take part with Plato. But with 
these moderns the scriptures weigh not. 

Here, if a short digression may be allowed, it seems desir- 
able, in point of connexion, to add, that as Plato spoke of men 
not being able to rase out of their souls the notion of deity ; so, in 
point of fact, he really believed and taught, that man's nature is 
twofold ; viz. spiritual, as well as animal ; and that the former, 
in common usage termed the soul, is distinct from the latter; not 
depending for its existence upon the organization of the brain, or 
any other part of the body ; but immaterial, immortal, and capa- 
ble of the most acute apprehension of happiness or misery. This 
capacity of intense happiness or misery indeed it is, which ren- 
ders such disquisitions -so important and interesting ; for other- 
wise (were the present state all) they would be, comparatively if 
not absolutely, trifling and useless. And what does intellect itself 
weigh, when placed in the opposite scale to mental enjoyment or 
suffering, except as made conducive to the acquisition of the one, 
or preservation from the other? 

It is indeed granted, that as there are some philosophers (or 
geniuses) of the present day who despise Plato, and the rest of 
those of elder time, who believed in a god ; so there are other, 
or perhaps the very same philosophers or geniuses of this age and 
nation, who equally despise the ancients just noticed, for that 
other opinion of theirs, that man has an iniHior/til spirit or soul, 
or any spirit or soul 'it fill. The philosophy, and learning, and 



WITH NOTES. 7 

temper, of these philosophers (or geniuses) unlike the learning of 
Plato and his confederate weaklings, leads these more enlightened, 
more intellectual persons to a supercilious contempt of those who 
believe in the possibility of any enjoyment or suffering, either 
spiritual, or purely mental, in their present, or any future state 
of existence beyond the grave. They think themselves exalted 
in denying any such attributes of their nature; and in affirm- 
ing themselves and all their species to be animals only, in com- 
mon with their brethren of the forest and the field. These philo- 
sophers moreover, deeming themselves animal only, like those 
their equals of the field or the stall, consequently claim their pri- 
vileges of exemption also from not only all responsibility to any 
superior, almighty power, or moral governor, as moral beings 
and responsible moral agents ; but also from the intrusions of that 
most inconvenient and troublesome annoyer, called conscience. 
Thus, coupling their denial of a god, a soul, and a conscience, 
they walk at liberty, without unmanly restraint. What other 
concern have they respecting their moral character or conduct, or 
their social intercourse, than to keep themselves clear of convic- 
tion and punishment? For if they have the power of committing 
evil with impunity as to human knowledge, they have no fearful 
motive whatever to debar them slavishly from the acquisition of 
any object of their desires. But if man be not, in his nature, a 
creature to be influenced by fear, as well as by his love of morality, 
why any human laws ? Or how can they regard morality, who deny 
a god, the source of all morals, and whose sanctions alone it is, 
which make morality more than an empty name ? 

In all human systems of philosophy or ethics, there are perhaps 
always some conveniences and inconveniences, some advantages 
and disadvantages. Nor do I pretend to think that the ethics of these 
moderns of the present day are free from some most serious, (though 
future) disadvantages ; which I do not particularize, because, as the 
scriptures weigh not with them, (though scripture doctrines weighed 
with Plato) I deem it a hopeless task. I therefore content myself 



8 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

with having thus generally stated the conveniences to be derived 
from this system of philosophy. It is true there may be some 
(possibly the major part by far of civilized society) who deem 
these ethics dangerous. But if so, they have no right, that I know 
of, to condemn them, except in the way of opinion or argument: 
though certainly at liberty to be on their guard against their dis- 
ciples : and also at liberty to restrain them, if they suffer their 
inward freedom to seduce them to evil acts, if, happily for society, 
such acts should be discovered. 

The above Platonic argument however from universal consent 
for the existence of God [against these moderns who think all 
nature cries aloud, there is no god] may be extended, by even 
adverting to the polytheism of the pagan world ; which nothing, 
but the indelible notion springing out of general tradition, that 
there was some supreme being to whom they owed their homage, 
can account for. Their ignorance at the same time, of the one and 
only true God, forms no objection to this position. Nor, even in the 
jurisprudential institutions of any civilized portion of mankind, 
has tradition ever been, as tradition merely, refused in evidence. 

CICERO'S equal authority with Plato, and his character for 
clearness of intellect, and strength of mind, and understanding, 
and all rational investigation ; not inferior to any mortal I pre- 
sume of the present or any preceding period these well known 
characteristics of that eminent person need not here be enlarged 
upon in favour of the existence of a god now under consideration. 
Nor can it be needful to quote his beautiful yet convincing argu- 
ments, drawn from a contemplation of the heavens, and the whole 
creation, for the existence of a supreme, self-existing, independent, 
omnipotent, all-wise, infinite mind, or pure intelligence; spiri- 
tual, and remote from all matter, in its essence; and which he, 
with others, denominated God, and deemed the sole creator, as 
well as moral governor of the universe. Cicero's arguments, as 
is well known, turn chiefly upon the gross absurdity and irration- 
ality of denying or doubting these first principles, in the face of 



WITH NOTES. 9 

such evidence ; deeming those not to be deserving the name of 
men, who do so. But the following arguments of Plato, or rea- 
soning deduced from his philosophy, however cursorily stated, 
being of somewhat different description, and perhaps not much 
adverted to in modern times, may possibly be thought not inap- 
plicable or uninteresting. 

The subordination of second causes and effects to a first cause, 
Plato, then, considered as affording another source of argument 
for the existence of God, as appears in his Tirnaus. This argu- 
ment includes the creation of the world by a first cause. That 
the world, whether considered as a whole, or as consisting of its 
component parts, cannot be self-created, or eternal, appears evident 
from the following considerations. First, if self-made, it must 
have acted physically before it had a being ; which is a plain 
impossibility. Then, as to its being eternal, if it be said that 
eternal existence does not necessarily imply self-creation, but only 
necessary self-existence; can such self-existence be, satisfactorily 
to reason and common sense, attributed to any being not of an 
intelligent nature? And is matter intelligent? And does not the 
refusal to admit the one principle of a supreme, necessarily self- 
existent, intelligent, and infinite being, involve innumerable other 
and insolvable difficulties, which are all avoided by the admission 
of that one principle? Some of these difficulties will be glanced 
at presently. And to the admission of that one, master principle, 
there seems to be no shadow of objection, but this; that man finds 
a difficulty in conceiving of such a being. But is that a sufficient 
reason, against such a mass of evidence in favour of that one 
master principle? For can man comprehend even his own exist- 
ence, his intellectual powers, or mental capacity ? We see effects 
which nothing but such an adequate cause can account for. And 
is unsatisfactory uncertainty to be preferred to rational certainty 
and its beneficial consequences? If indeed any will have the 
world to have been eternal, but not necessarily self-existent; that 
notion may perhaps be allowed; and that even without prejudice 



10 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

to the attributes of the Supreme Being, if we admit the possibility 
of an eternal creature, whether matter generally, or matter in any 
specific form. Supposing therefore the sun to have eternally 
shone, or the world to have eternally existed, still it must have been 
from an active, intelligent first cause. But whether God has 
forever had creatures co-eternal with himself, or passed an eternity 
without creation, what created being can tell, unless from revela- 
tion? And to man that point has not been revealed. 

The world, and the atomic particles, of course, of which it is 
composed, are also known to be material. It is essentially neces- 
sary to matter to be inert, incapable of voluntary motion; nay, 
even to resist by its vis inertiae, any change of its present state. 
How then can such particles of matter, inert, incapable of self- 
motion, unintelligent, be rationally believed or imagined to have 
come casually together, and to have formed wonderful produc- 
tions, wherein intelligence, skill, and design are undeniably 
manifest, without the intervention and operations of an intelligent 
power, of which matter itself is destitute? 

If then the world was undeniably produced, it must have 
been so produced by some cause, as there is no effect without a 
cause. And that such cause must, in this case, be a supreme, 
self-existent and intelligent being, the first cause of all things, 
seems satisfactorily clear to reason, since, in tracing cause and effect, 
the mind finds no resting place until it arrives at that point a 
first cause. 

That the world, or the matter of which it is composed, can- 
not be eternal, seems demonstrable again from considering, that, 
if eternal, it must have been immutable and invariable, which is 
inconsistent with the circumstances or qualities of generation and 
corruption (or composition and dissolution of bodies) which at- 
tend it, and which necessarily follow matter and motion ; but 
which generation and corruption (or composition and dissolution 
of bodies) we, in fact, see around us. Cause and effect, again, 
must necessarily attend generation and corruption. But cause 



WITH NOTES. 11 

and effect imply priority and posteriority, which cannot be in what 
is eternal. Does not our reason also, and common sense, assure 
us, that the world's present course of successive generation and 
corruption is inconsistent with its eternity? Nay, the very concep- 
tion of succession in eternity, implies a flat contradiction. A 
further argument for the existence of God as the first cause of all 
things is, that as we see nothing but what is produced by something 
else ; there must be some first producer. How, for instance, can 
the first man have been otherwise produced than by some first 
cause ? For, succession is inconsistent with eternity ; therefore an 
eternal succession of men is a contradiction in terms. May we 
not then as well deny all effects, even ourselves, to be, as deny a 
first cause? Abundant other evidences of the existence of God, 
the first cause, [by the ancients termed also the Chief Good; and 
to whom they attributed the characters or properties of perfect 
beauty derived from harmony; and perfect goodness; or rather 
harmonic beauty itself, and goodness itself,] are to be found in 
Plato and others : and of those evidences which are here adverted 
to, the foregoing is confessed to be an imperfect outline. The 
elaborate and satisfactory works of modern writers upon this im- 
portant topic, are too well known to need particularizing here. It 
is however hoped, that the little which has been said may at least 
have some weight towards proving that atheism was not the faith 
of the deepest thinkers, and the clearest reasoners of antiquity. 
As to the famous hypothesis of Aristotle to prove the eternity of 
matter and of the world, viz. that nothing can be produced out of 
nothing ; whatever credit may be given to that axiom in inferior 
matters, it seems evidently erroneous when applied in limitation 
of the powers of an omnipotent being. For Aristotle appears 
not so much to have disputed the being of God, as he did that 
God could produce the world out of nothing ; therefore conclud- 
ing that the world must have been eternal. But surely the diffi- 
culty to reason is greater to conceive of a thing making itself, 
which it must have done, if at all, before it had existence, which is 



12 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

most absurd ; than the difficulty of believing in a self-existent and 
omnipotent intelligence, which, however inexplicable or incom- 
prehensible by a finite perception, yet certainly implicates no 
absurdity. 

But to little purpose would be the reasoning of a whole 
universe of Plato's and Cicero's on this subject, the foundation of 
the highest hopes and most important interests of man, or on any 
other, if to be defeated by that universal, never-satisfied, and 
cherished uncertainty, which, even in this day, I apprehend some 
either affectedly or sincerely, hold. I believe that the escape from 
the Aristotelian method of philosophizing, not in metaphysics only 
but in physics also, and the substitution of the experimental phi- 
losophy of Bacon, and Newton, and Boyle, is considered as one 
of the greatest happinesses of mankind. It may indeed, I sup- 
pose, without fear of contradiction be said, that philosophy is 
now, more than ever, deemed to be deserving of the name, so far 
only as it is useful to man, and subservient to his real and sub- 
stantial benefit; or, in other words, to his happiness. That cer- 
tainty, generally speaking, is essential to the happiness of man, 
who will deny ? Physical certainty so far as obtainable, is there- 
fore, I apprehend, now thought the highest praise, as well as the 
ultimate aim, of genuine and approved experimental philosophy. 
And is moral certainty less needful, or less sought for by the 
wisest men? By moral certainty I mean, that generally admitted 
exclusion of doubt which is the effect of evidence, termed moral 
also as opposed to physical; evidence arising out of such human 
testimony, whether oral, traditional, or historical, as is generally 
deemed credible in civilized society, and thereupon received as 
truth, and acted upon in the common affairs of life. But ought 
not moral certainty, thus defined, to be extended also to the testi- 
mony resulting from those deductions of reason which approve 
themselves to a considerate mind and competent understanding, 
whether our own, or that of other men, of known and adequate 
intellectual and moral character ? May it not also be asserted, 



WITH NOTES. 1 3 

that human life is miserable in pretty exact proportion to the want 
of this certainty ? Does the painfulness of uncertainty need any 
other proof than its own existence ? This painfulness it is ad- 
mitted, is experienced in greater or lesser degrees, according to 
the natural feelings of individuals; but is it not inseparable from 
man ? To pass then from individual to social life. Do not the 
wants of the latter call aloud for certainty ? Are men satisfied 
without it? Are not the utmost possible efforts made to obtain it? 
Witness our judicial, legislative, and other public proceedings. 
We are here considering moral, (as explained above,) not mathe- 
matical certainty. Yet I think that some metaphysical specula- 
tists of the present day carry their nice distinctions and everlast- 
ing objections not only to the extent of doubting of moral or phy- 
sical certainty, or evidence, but even of mathematical truths 
themselves; that is, what the generality of mankind do not scruple 
to consider as truths ; though these exquisite reasoners scarcely, 
I suspect, admit any such quality, or character, of human regard 
as truth, of any sort. Do they believe in morals, or morality? Do 
they believe their own senses, their own existence ? But can all 
this scepticism be good for man? If not good, is it desirable? 
What indeed can be conceived more detrimental to human welfare 
than principles which lead to the denial of all moral, if not physi- 
cal certainty, and consequently undermine the force of all evi- 
dence whatever among men? It is still, perhaps, to be believed, 
that these very persons, from the necessity of things, do, with 
Cicero and other Academicks, who saw the evil, admit and act upon 
their secret admission of probability, as a substitute for certainty. 
So far the evil may be abated. But its mischief consists in being 
used (as I fear it sometimes is used) to perplex, unsettle and mis- 
lead the unwary, or less informed. In that view, surely, it is 
highly censurable, and ought to be exploded. And in fact, unless 
it be abandoned, and this Pyrrhonism abjured, how can even the 
existence of a supreme being be satisfactorily, or morally, or any 
otherwise, proved ? To proceed. 



14 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ABEL. 

GOD! who didst call the elements into 

Earth ocean air and fire, and with the day 

And night, and worlds which these illuminate 

Or shadow, madest beings to enjoy them, 

And love both them and thee all hail ! all hail! 

Note 2. 

In this further address to God, the author, in addition to the 
divine attributes of power and wisdom, recognizes in the Almighty 
that other attribute of goodness also, without which, it has been 
emphatically said, the other attributes would be unbeneficial to 
man : for what benefit could be expected from infinite power, 
even united to infinite wisdom, uninfluenced by equal goodness? 
Abel therefore says, " and madest beings to enjoy them." What, 
but goodness, can rationally be supposed to create beings suscep- 
tible of enjoyment; in other words of complacency and delight; 
beings of course inferior, helpless in themselves, and dependent 
upon their maker? Was any evil being ever known to use its 
power in that way, and not rather in the way of producing misery? 
God therefore is good, or rather, goodness itself, if reason is to 
be regarded. Power, wisdom, and goodness then, appear to have 
constituted, in Lord Byron's mind, as in those of Plato and Cicero, 
and others before adverted to of highest repute for intellect, science, 
and morals amongst the ancients, essential parts of the character 
of the Supreme Being. It is admitted, that power does not ne- 
cessarily, of itself, imply or include good morals, or goodness ; 
but neither does it necessarily exclude those qualities. The ques- 
tion is, how are we to be satisfied, that goodness, and good morals, 
do actually make part of the character of the Almighty ? Now all 
men, in civilized and moral society, must be supposed to be fami- 
liar with the meaning affixed to the terms good morals, and good- 




WITH NOTES. 15 

ness. They need no laboured explanation, but speak for themselves. 
In order therefore to ascertain whether a being, possessing power, 
do, or do not also possess good morals and goodness, must not 
recourse be had to human investigation ? But human investiga- 
tion, if I mistake not, will, in such an enquiry, be exerted, in 
scanning and judging of the moral character of the powerful being 
in question, by his acts and operations. If the result of such en- 
quiry be, that those acts and operations, in the judgment of right 
reason, are moral and good, and especially if only so, and most 
eminently so, and that in perpetual exercise ; what can reason 
conclude, and reasonable beings admit, but that such powerful 
being must be good and moral also ? But are not the operations 
of God, with which we are conversant, eminently good, as pro- 
ducing good ? Is not all nature replete with the goodness of its 
author? Have we not therefore equal proof of the divine morality, 
since that very goodness which is clearly attributable to the Al- 
mighty, necessarily includes morality. For whoever is not moral 
is not good, because immorality produces evil, and evil is the op- 
posite of, and therefore inconsistent with, goodness. These re- 
marks may possibly seem uncalled for yet, but they are made in 
anticipation, for reasons which will appear afterwards. And a 
few other observations, in anticipation also, seem desirable in 
this place. 

If then there be a god, and he is an infinitely good and 
moral, as well as an all-powerful and all-wise being, can any 
reasonable man suppose him not to regard his intelligent and 
moral creation, the human race? Or can he be believed to 
neglect, and not attend to, their moral character and conduct, so 
essential to the general welfare of man ? Do good, and wise, and 
moral men act so in their spheres ? Would they deem it rational 
or right so to do ? And can that, which is intrinsically rational, 
moral, good, and right among men, be deemed to be otherwise in 
reference to the Supreme, the source and centre of all that is good 
and moral ? And does not our reason tell us, that on such a 



16 C.U,\, A MYSTERY, 

subject it is allowable and right to argue thus from the lesser to 
the greater ? And are there not some things, and some occasions, 
and this among them, in which it is absolutely necessary, that 
the dictates of our reason, its dictates I mean intuitively perceived 
in such cases, should be our final and decided guide ? And (to 
extend the subject a little, by anticipation again) are not good 
morals closely connected with good government among men ? 
And is not such good government found to be needful, and very 
good, because needful and beneficial ? And can moral govern- 
ment (for all good government is moral government) rationally be 
supposed to be less good, or needful, or beneficial, as between 
the Supreme, and his rational and moral creatures? And if God 
be, by all intelligent and reasonable men, admitted to be, alone 
and necessarily, the moral governor of his creature man, and to 
be all-wise and all-good also ; is it possible, in the very nature 
of things, or can a rational and moral being believe, that from an 
almighty being, of such attributes or character, any evil law, or 
regulation, can proceed ? And if these considerations be granted, 
is not obedience justly and reasonably requirable by, and due to, 
such a lawgiver ? Or can any, who contemn such legislation, be 
justifiable in the sight of right reason, social and reasonable 
man himself being judge? These inquiries will be found to be 
pertinent, more especially, in a future note. 

We have indeed been here speaking, more particularly, of 
evil laws or regulations as not to be supposed possible to proceed 
from such a being as God. Hereafter we shall have occasion to 
prove, that no evil whatever, properly so called, can proceed from 
him ; for that even what men call evil cannot be absolutely so. 
Does light produce darkness, or sweet bitter ? It must be good 
in a right point of view, not excepting even the evil suffered by 
evil and unreasonable men. Men of a contrary character will not 
call, or consider as evil, anything which may be judged to pro- 
ceed more immediately from, or even as occurring by the permis- 
sion of, a being infinitely wise and infinitely good, who can have 



WITH NOTES. 17 

no evil in his nature. The evils therefore, so termed, which God 
may even inflict or permit, in support of his moral government, 
who will call intrinsic or pure evil ? Ask the legislature, and the 
dispensers of criminal justice, in all nations, what they think of 
legislative or judicial evils, when enacted or exercised against 
evil men. Will not such evils be termed good ? And must not 
all, who regard the well-being and happiness of society among 
men ; hold the same opinion ? 

With respect to the existence which the Almighty permits, 
of what is commonly meant by the natural evils of pain or suffer- 
ing in any portion of God's creatures, that subject will be some- 
what more particularly considered in a future note or notes. 

But, after the foregoing recognition of the divine attributes 
of power, wisdom, and goodness, the author's just views (and 
should we not say animated feelings too ?) do not stop even at the 
latter, the divine goodness. He adds "and love both them 
and thee:" an amiable intimation that God himself is a proper 
object of the sublimest regard of which an intelligent and moral 
creature, such as man, is capable, towards his creator. And do 
not reason and nature, even in reference to humanity, to human 
relations, teach and confirm the same ? But the next address and 
note will afford occasion for some extension of this idea. This 
address is from 

ADAH. 

God, the Eternal ! Parent of all things ! 

Who didst create these best and beauteous beings, 

To be beloved, more .than all, save thce 

Let me love thee and them: All hail! all hail! 

Note 3. 

Here Lord Byron evidently rises higher still ; for, not content 
to hold his maker forth as the parent of all things, and the proper 



18 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

object of the due and most sublime regard of his creature man ; 
he represents Adah, as I conceive, looking round her upon 
her father, her mother, her brothers, her sister, " all the chari- 
ties" and after declaring that they were to be beloved more than 
the -unintelligent parts of creation, immediately adverts to the 
superior title, and claim, of the creator himself, the " parent of 
all things' 7 to the supreme love of man, paramountly to any 
creature, intelligent or not. The entire accordance of this sen- 
timent with scripture is well known. The enquiry here is, 
whether that sentiment is consistent with what is usually received 
as good reason and sound philosophy. 

In this enquiry then, brief and superficial as it must be, I 
shall again resort to unbiassed antiquity^ and to right reason, if 
Plato and Cicero and others of those sages who thought with them, 
uninfluenced (or,, as some would say, uncorrupted) by Christi- 
anity, are allowed to possess such rationality. 

According to Plato's principles therefore of philosophizing 
on morals ; and taking man to be a rational, intellectual, moral, 
considerative being; every man, in every act, virtually, if not 
actually, intends some last end, or ultimate object. What consi- 
derate man does not? Now Plato considers this last end, or 
ultimate object, in every man's intention to be, the acquisition of 
that which, when obtained, we neither desire nor need anything 
beyoad it. Cicero's, and the Stoics' ideas of the last end of man 
seem to accord with those of Plato herein, though perhaps some 
of them make virtue their last end ; but even then, it will perhaps 
be graated, that taking virtue in its utmost extent of meaning, 
they and Plato mean nearly the same thing, though Plato certainly 
soars the highest. This last end, or ultimate object, of Plato, 
being also in itself so satisfactory (for what can be imagined more 
satisfactory to man than his possessing the utmost of his desires 
and having no ungratified wish left ? ) and exceeding all other 
wants and desires, they termed a perfect end. In common life 
generally, it must be owned, this process of the mind is not much 



WITH NOTES. 1 9 

regarded or, thought of; but still, the restlessness of man's nature, 
and the importunity, and incessant craving of his wants and de- 
sires, prove the fact ; and reflecting men realize it in their own 
experience. But, is there any earthly thing which, a man having 
coveted and then obtained, satisfies him so, that he neither desires 
or needs any thing else beyond or beside it? Certainly not. That 
needs no other proof than universal experience. Man also being, 
(according to Plato) spiritual and immortal, as well as animal, in 
his nature, requires a last end, or ultimate object, for the satisfac- 
tion of, and corresponding with, his wants and desires, in that 
view of his complex character. This is so, whether a man per- 
ceive, or is conscious of it, or not ; it is still so, in fact. Its not 
being perceived is no proof it does not exist ; it only proves the 
man to be inattentive to the operations of his moral nature. His 
spiritual and immortal part, however disregarded, he cannot get 
rid of, nor ever be truly satisfied without the appropriate satisfac- 
tion it requires. These observations however do not, I confess, 
apply experimentally, to men, who have learned to persuade them- 
selves, that they are neither spiritual, nor moral, but merely ani- 
mal beings, and therefore actuated only by animal motives, ex- 
cept indeed by such other motives also as arise from that meral 
obliquity and natural evil of which they cannot divest themselves. 
But, happily for society, these are but few. 

In pursuing this subject therefore, Plato asserts, not only 
that this adequate object, this perfectly-satisfying last end of man, 
cannot be found on earth, or among earthly things; but, that it 
can no where at all be found, out of the chief good; which he 
shews to be nothing below, or other than, Deity himself. He 
thence concludes, that God's spiritual and pure, and infinite na- 
ture, is alone sufficient for, and indispensible to, the wants and 
the desires of man, however remote that truth may be from the 
consideration of many, if not of most men. For it must be al- 
lowed, that, even among men who do not consider themselves to 
be animal merely, but admit the spirituality and morality, and 

c 2 



20 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

immortality of their natures, some are too little considerative of 
this Platonic, but elevating, aggrandizing, and solacing contem- 
plation. For 

" These are the thoughts which make man, man ; 
The wise illumine, aggrandize the great." 

Yet reason seems to declare, that however man may obscure or 
disregard this doctrine now, the truth of it hereafter, in a disem- 
bodied, spiritual state of existence, will be too palpable to be then 
neglected. 

But not only does Plato shew this chief good to be sufficient 
for man's utmost wants and desires, but that such chief good 
[God] being essential and perfect goodness, and essential and 
perfect beauty, viz. perfect beauty derived from perfect harmony; 
in other words, goodness itself, and beauty itself; must therefore 
necessarily, be altogether and alone worthy of man's supreme love 
and desire. And what can we conceive of the human mind, if it 
be not most powerfully attracted by what is perfect, and all-beau- 
tiful, and immeasurably attached to what is all-good ? This rea- 
soning, though apparently incontestible, pays perhaps a higher 
compliment to human nature than some may think it merits ; but 
at least it appears to be true, and to have been the impression of 
Lord Byron's mind (a mind not to be despised) if we are to cre- 
dit what he has written, as well as that of Plato. Here also it is 
hardly possible to forbear noticing the strict agreement, not only 
of Lord Byron, but of Plato, in these sentiments, with those pas- 
sages of scripture which Plato never saw: for instance, among in- 
numerable others, Deut. vi. 5. Matth. xxii. 37. Mark x. 18. 
Psalm Ixxiii. 25. Can it be believed, that if Plato had been ac- 
quainted with the Christian revelation, he would have despised or 
rejected it? And how are its modern despisers superior to Plato? 
Are they so in morals ; are they so in / ind ? 

It may however possibly be objected, that this doctrine of 



WITH NOTES. 21 

Plato, and that view of scripture which corresponds with it, is of 
so abstruse or abstracted a nature, and so inconsistent with the 
present condition of man, as to b plainly unreasonable ; and if 
practicable, yet absolutely prejudicial to society. Such objections 
are in fact made. It is said, that, to be under such an influence, 
must unfit man for all social intercourse, and for all those duties 
which man owes to man, and must therefore obstruct all the 
affairs and common concerns of human life. Or, in other words 
that the world could not go on, if all men were so influenced : 
and that therefore, what is not good for the whole is not good for 
any part. But it must first be enquired, if it be not good for the 
whole, or wherein hurtful for the whole. Yet Plato was a most 
social man. His whole life and energies (at least a full propor- 
tion of them) were exercised in promoting the temporal, as well 
as future and spiritual, benefit of his fellow creatures. Witness 
his thoughtful writings. But it may be said he was still much 
abstracted from the ordinary business of life, and therefore more 
at liberty to attend to those speculative matters than men more 
usefully employed in social duties. Let us then try the matter a 
little more practically. God not only (leaving Plato fora moment) 
requires this supreme regard of his creature man to himself, as 
may, hereafter, more properly than here, be shewn ; but he also 
commands all social duties from man to man, even to the extent 
of loving his neighbour as himself. Can the benevolent and busy 
man go farther than that? And can it be allowed, that God com- 
mands duties irreconcileable with one another? Yet he requires 
man to love his God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength ; 
and his neighbour as himself. The benevolent and busy man then 
cannot surmise of his maker, that he discountenances the social 
duties while he requires supreme regard to himself, but inculcates 
them to the uttermost. Ought not God to be obeyed in thus 
inculcating social duty? The benevolent and busy man will be 
the first to say, yes. But is not love, among enlightened and 
benevolent men, allowed to be the most powerful incentive to 



22 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

obedience, and its strongest stimulus, as it is in fact to every 
action, whether in man, or his inferior fellow creatures ? Would 
a master or a father among men (supposing him a good man) pre- 
fer being served, either by his servant or his son, from fear, rather 
than from love ? Suppose such a master or parent as is here 
meant, whose servant or son was supremely devoted to him in 
heart and affection, should require that servant or son to be care- 
ful in performing all duties incumbent on him towards others ; 
would such servant or son be less likely to attend to those injunc- 
tions, because he loved his master or his parent ardently ? If we 
apply this as between man and his creator (and does not every 
principle, natural, moral, and revealed, require it?) then, not 
only does all objection to the supreme love of man to God not so 
much vanish merely, as, rather, become changed into the strongest 
advocate in its favour. It is true, the servant, or the son, might 
feel the habitual or unremitting glow of love and regard to his 
master or parent; but would that render him negligent of pleasing 
and obeying him by the performance of the social duties enjoined 
by him? Is such the nature of love, to be so negligent? we 
have seen it is not. Thus then Plato's reasoning appears to be 
practically sustained. But to proceed. 

ZILLAH. 

Oh, God I who loving, making, blessing all, 
Yet didst permit the serpent to creep in } 
And drive my father forth from Paradise, 
Keep us from further evil : Hail ! all hail ! 

Note 4. 

In this address or invocation, Zillah, like the rest, recog- 
nizes the goodness and love of her creator to his creatures ; and 
after adverting to the occurrence which 



WITH NOTES. 23 

<l Brought death into the world and all our woe, 
With loss of Eden, till one greater man restore us ;" 

she then deprecates any further ill effects of her parents' trans- 
gression of their beneficent creator's 

" Sole command, Lords of the world beside." 

It may possibly be imagined, that this notice taken by Zillah, of 
God's having permitted the serpent to creep in and drive her 
father from Paradise, is done in an invidious spirit, as if to stig- 
matize, or create odium against God. But I take it not so. I rather take 
it as a just exposition of Zillah's correct piety ; which, while she recol- 
lects the painful event, leads her also to improve it by so appropriate 
a supplication. Is it not natural and proper ? Who would not, (in 
a right state of mind,) do the same ? Zillah's observation however 
on this part of her own and parents' history there will be ample occa- 
sion to consider hereafter. The following colloquy then succeeds. 



ADAM. 

Son Cain, my first-born, wherefore art thou silent ? 

CAIN. 
Why should I speak I 

ADAM. 
To pray. 

CAIN. 

Have ye not pray'd l . 



24 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ADAM. 

We have, most fervently. 



Have heard you. 



CAIN. 

And loudly: I 

ADAM. 

.So will God, I trust. 

ABEL. 

Amen 1 

ADAM. 

But thou, my eldest-born, art silent still. 

CAIN. 
'T is better I should be so. 

ADAM. 

Wherefore so ? 

CAIN. 
i have nought to ask. 

ADAM. 

Nor aught to thank for ? 

CAIN. 

No. 



WITH NOTES. 25 

ADAM. 

Dost thou not live'? 

CAIN. 
Must I not die 1 

Note 5. 

In all this conversation, it must be confessed, the author has ex- 
tremely well represented that (to say the least) untoward spirit of Cain, 
which the scriptures, briefly, seem to afford sufficient ground for. 
But, as if to furnish an antidote, he makes Adam ask his son whether, 
if he even have " nought to ask for," he has riot aught to thank for ?" 
And when Cain bluntly answers, " No," his father enquires, " dost 
thou not live?" Here, therefore, we see discouraged some of the 
worst of human feelings, discontent, and ingratitude, by asking a 
question, conveying an affirmation, which, I suppose, will be gene- 
rally allowed to be both sound morality (for do not good morals re- 
quire gratitude ?) and good divinity : viz. that existence itself is a 
subject of thankfulness, unless very good reason be shewn against it, 
if that be possible. For I incline to think, not only that the, perhaps 
universal, voice of human nature (for extremely few hinders not uni- 
versality) is certainly opposed to this dissatisfaction with existence; 
but also, that if every consideration relating to man were duly weighed, 
there never did, or does, or will exist, a single human being, from 
whom thankfulness for his existence might not, according to right rea- 
son, be shewn to be justly due. Or, if it should be required to be 
granted, that there have been, or are, some individuals among man- 
kind, whose evident sufferings have so much exceeded their apparent 
enjoyment, that they may be excused for such an uninformed state of 
mind as to induce their wishing they had never existed ; still, that 
was not Cain's case. His existence was, undeniably, of the very 



26 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

opposite character to that of pain or suffering ; namely, all enjoy- 
ment, (at least having the means of it,) as we have every reason to 
suppose. It was therefore only his own disposition ofmiud and 
heart that caused his discontent. And he was the only instance of 
such discontent in his family. Cain indeed confesses the plentitude 
of the benefits he had from his maker's bounty. " I have nought to 
ask." Is not this a hint to others? For are not all men too apt, 
when they have all things so abundantly that nothing is left to be 
asked for, (things relating to the body merely are here meant) too apt 
to be unthankful to their benefactor ? 

" Forgetful what from him they still receive." 

Cain, however, replies to his father's qiiestion, by asking another 
"Must I not die?" implying doubtless, that in his opinion, a 
terminable existence is undesirable, and therefore no subject of thank- 
fulness to the donor. But as Cain's unthankfulness for life plainly 
arose not from any ills he endured by it ; nor from any evil, so far as 
appears, that he expected, from death ; we are led to conclude, that 
he was unthankful for a positive good, merely because he must, at 
some uncertain period, lose it. This I conceive to be, generally 
speaking, an immoral and wrong principle, and not in accordance 
with the usual and approved feelings of mankind. If indeed the 
enjoyment of a present good were the forerunner, or cause, of an 
inevitable future evil, of much greater magnitude especially, the case 
would be otherwise, and Cain right in his sentiments and dissatis- 
faction. There would in fact then, be no cause for thankfulness. 
But, had he, or has any man ever had, or will any man ever have, 
to complain of being exposed to future, specified evil, of which he 
was not himself the author, either by actually creating, or at any rate 
by not using the means afforded him of avoiding it ? On the subject 
of death itself, Cain will hereafter afford a proper occasion for some 
remarks upon it. But here, Cain seems clearly wrong ; nor will, it 
is conceived, have any imitators among wise and good men ; the hea- 



"\V1T11 NOTES. '27 

then themselves not excepted. To this purpose, and in countenance 
of Adam's fatherly exhortation to Cain, to pray, or praise, I shall I 
hope be excused for a short instance of pagan sentiment, so opposite 
to Cain. To some it may possibly be either new or forgotten ; others 
will easily suffer themselves to pardon its introduction. 

" Where then shall hope and fear their objects find ? 
Must dull suspense corrupt the stagnant mind ? 
Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate, 
Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate ? 
Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise, 
No cries invoke the mercies of the skies ? 
Inquirer, cease ; petitions yet remain 
Which heaven may hear ; nor deem religion vain. 
Still raise for good the supplicating voice, 
But leave to heaven the measure and the choice ; 
Safe in his power, whose eyes discern afar 
The secret ambush of a specious prayer. 
Implore his aid ; in his decisions rest ; 
Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best. 
Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires, 
And strong devotion to the skies aspires ; 
Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind, 
Obedient passions, and a will resigned ; 
For love, which scarce collective man can fill ; 
For patience, sovereign o'er transmuted ill ; 
For faith, that, panting for a happier seat, 
Counts death kind nature's signal for retreat : 
These goods for man the laws of heaven ordain ; 
These goods he grants, who grants the means to gain ; 
With these, celestial wisdom calms the mind, 
And makes the happiness she does not find." 

Dr. Johnsons Juvenal. 



28 CAIN, A MYSTEHY, 

I scarcely deem myself at liberty in this place, to advert to the 
cause for thankfulness for existence arising from future prospects, as 
made known by the Christian revelation. There will probably be a 
more proper occasion for glancing at that subject hereafter. The 
family conference then proceeds. 



EVE. 

Alas! 

The frnit of our forbidden tree begins 
To fall. 

ADAM. 

And we must gather it again. 
Oh, God! why didst thou plant the tree of knowledge'? 

CAIN. 

And wherefore pluck 'd ye not the tree of life ! 
Ye might have then defied him. 

ADAM. 

Oh ! my son. 
Blaspheme not : these are serpents' words. 

CAIN. 

Why not? 

The snake spoke truth: it was the tree of knowledge ; 
It was the tree of life: knowledge is good, 
And life is good ; and how can both be evil? 



WITH NOTES. 29 

Note 6. 

The above reflections of Eve and Adam are very natural and 
appropriate. Eve laments the sensible effects of the fruit of the 
forbidden tree as shewn in the character of Cain obviously. This 
disposition was that of ingratitude to God, and discontent with all 
his mercies, so opposite to that of every other individual he was con- 
nected with. With respect to Adam's emphatic question, addressed 
to the Almighty, we recognize, not a daring interrogation of his crea- 
tor for planting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but rather 
an expostulatory yet reverential appeal to heaven, arising from an ex- 
citement of mind, such as in the scriptures we find attributed to the 
patriarchs, and the prophets, occasionally, and to the Redeemer him- 
self ; for instance, Psalm Ixxx. 7 12. Isa. Ixiii. 17. Matth. xxvii. 
46. These reverential though earnest expostulations we see the Al- 
mighty kindly bearing with (as he talked with Moses face to face, and 
treated Abraham as his friend) and as arising from human infirmity, 
and sometimes from grief, or other allowable feeling, and not from 
any perverse or rebellious spirit. These therefore are by no means to 
be confounded with those arraignments of the divine proceedings, 
arising from a very different, viz. an actually resisting and rebellious 
state of mind towards God (which who can justify, and of which who 
can sustain the consequences?) which we find noticed by the apostle 
Paul, in Rom. ix. 19, 20, 21. Such is the light in which I view 
this very natural expression therefore of Adam in his trying circum- 
stances, and excited as his paternal and pious mind was, by his son's 
distressing conduct. But if we may be allowed to give an answer to 
Adam why God planted the tree of knowledge, it seems clear enough, 
that it was placed there as the sole pledge of Adam's obedience to 
and dependance upon his creator, by complying with his prohibitory 
restriction from its fruit. It should seem that Adam's nature was so 
excellent (short of absolute perfection) that there was nothing in it to 
lead to his displeasing his maker, unless in the one instance of not 
complying with that prohibition. And who can say, that such a test 



30 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

was unappropriate as between die Almighty, as a moral governor, and 
his creature, man? And could any test be easier? It cannot be 
questioned, that both Adam and Eve knew they were disobeying 
God's command, and putting his threatenings to the proof, by their 
transgression. God had denominated the tree, that of the knowledge 
of good and evil. The knowledge imparted by eating its fruit was 
chiefly that of the knowledge of the good they had lost, in losing their 
creator's favour, at least thathigh degree of his favour which they enjoyed 
from his more immediate presence, so long as they continued obe- 
dient ; and the evil they had thus acquired, by breaking fealty with 
him. A created being indeed must be imperfect, because perfection 
implies infinity, which can only belong to an infinite self-existent be- 
ing. Adam therefore, being thus defective, was capable of error, 
which God, an infinite and therefore perfect being, is not. Error he 
committed ; that is, an error of the will. He suffered his will to pre- 
vail over his better reason, unless it be said that reason required him 
to partake with Eve, as he did, the consequences of her transgression, 
in preference to preserving his own existence and happiness by ad- 
hering to his maker's law. But that is too much to be readily granted. 
For what would be the consequences ? Should some argue (as some 
do) that man can do no good thing, nor even abstain from evil, with- 
out the aid of God's supernatural and immediate influence and power, 
either exciting, or restraining, according to the circumstance; yet ad- 
mitting that, as declared by God himself in his word, yet these same 
persons will not deny that man has nevertheless, in himself, the power 
of doing evil. That power we know he has, for he uses it constantly, 
freely, deliberately and determinedly. We know too, that his con- 
science bears witness against and condemns him for the commission 
of such evil. Cain however, as if to preserve and even improve upon 
his consistency, asks his parents, why they did not pluck the tree of 
life, and so have defied their maker? On this daring impiety, and 
equal folly, no remark need be made ; but his father's reproof was as 
proper as can be imagined, tempered as it was by parental tenderness. 
It should be noticed however that Cain was wrong also, as it 



WITH NOTES. 31 

should clearly seem, in ascribing such power or virtue to the fruit of 
the tree of life, as that a single seizure of its fruit should have conferred 
immediate and positive immortality on his parents, and so have en- 
abled them to defy their maker's denunciation of death. For there 
seems every reason to believe, that the fruit of the tree of life was ra- 
ther medicinal and restorative, than any thing beyond that. So that, 
had the inhabitants of Eden at any time incurred hurt or sickness, 
which, if left to its natural course, would produce death ; the fruit 
of the tree of life, by its sanative quality, would cure and restore their 
health; thus when needed, preserving the person and constitution- 
sound and healthful, and of course preventing death. This appears 
to be the meaning of " lest he put forth his hand, and eat, and live 
forever;" that is, if God should permit man to continue in Eden y 
he would, by this occasional use of the fruit of the tree of life, ward 
off those diseases which were, with the gradual decay of nature also r 
to produce in time the mortality pronounced upon him. The eating 
of the fruit therefore, without necessity, would probably have been at- 
tended with no other effect than resulted from the fruits of the other 
trees, viz. refreshment merely. But this differs much from Cain's 
idea. And though, had Adam continued in Eden without transgres- 
sion, the Almighty, might, and probably would, have translated him 
from thence to heaven, as afterwards he translated Enoch, yet it can- 
not be supposed Adam would have been so translated had he remained 
in Eden after his transgression. So that the tree of life would have 
kept mankind in a perpetual state of moral degradation, and aliena- 
tion from their maker's peculiar favour and more special presence - r 
which, from after events, it clearly appears was not the divine intention. 
Cain persevering to insist that the snake spoke truth, for mat the- 
trees were those of knowledge and of life; and, that life and know- 
ledge being individually good, they could not both be evil; Eve, 
though she does not enter upon a logical confutation of her son's plau- 
sible argument, yet gives him a more satisfactory reply in other re- 
spects, as it was scriptural, sensible, and proper. This reply is as 
follows : 



32 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



My boy ! thou speakest as I spoke in sin, 
Before thy birth : let me not see renew'd 
My misery in thine. I have repented. 
Let me not see my offspring fall into 
The snares beyond the walls of Paradise, 
Which e'en in Paradise destroy'd his parents. 
Content thee with what is. Had we been so, 
Thou now hadst been contented. Oh, my son! 

JVote 7. 

Without referring to the astonishing, and more than complete, 
remedy which the Christian revelation affords, to all who embrace it, 
for the subject of Eve's lamentation, viz. her fall and its effects ; one 
cannot forbear an acknowledgement of respect for the author who could 
imagine so excellent a reply for her. Every moralist, and every 
Christian, must approve it. She does not defend nor extenuate, but 
ingenuously confesses, her fault. She felt that she had wilfully (or 
are we, in mercy, to say negligently and carelessly only ; but I doubt 
that would, now, not satisfy even herself) offended a beneficent cre- 
ator, father, and righteous moral governor. She reproaches not 
him but herself. She deplores the misery her transgression had 
brought upon her ; yet so greatly mitigated, by that mercy which 
her penitence was sure to find; and she declares she had repented. 
That Adam had also repented we cannot doubt. That he, and Eve, 
had also found peace again at least, with their maker, cannot be 
doubted, through the Mediator who was made known to them in the 
promise, that her seed should bruise the serpent's head. She then 
deprecates of Cain an addition to her sorrow from his pursuing simi- 
lar conduct to mat which lost them Eden. She seems to forebode 
the snares which even now probably were preparing for him. Her 
concluding exhortation to contentment is certainly most appropriate. 



WITH NOTES. 33 

It seems highly probable however, that Lord Byron expected, ii 
he did not intend, that Cain should, at some future period, be an- 
swered after another manner than his mother had done. Let us see 
if it may not be done as it requires. In the first place, he justifies 
his asking his father, why he did not pluck the tree of life, by saying, 
that the snake spoke truth ; and he seems to mean, that the truth the 
snake spoke was, that the one tree was that of knowledge, and the 
other that of life : but the snake in fact said no such tiling. It was 
God who had called the tree that of the knowledge of good and evil ; 
(not of knowledge generally ;) and the truth, such as it was, which 
the snake spoke, was, contradicting God's denunciation of death 
upon eating the fruit, and telling Eve she should not die, for that 
God knew they would, by eating the fruit, become as gods, knowing 
good and evil. These were snake truths indeed. But presently we 
shall be more familiar with their real author, and discharge the poor 
snake, who must till then bear the brunt. We will examine the first 
of these truths that Eve should not die. It was one of those truths 
which they utter, who 

" Palter with us in a double sense." 

Eve and Adam certainly did not instantly die on eating the fruit, as 
if it had been the most life-destroying of all modem poisons. But 
they instantly died to that life (not their natural life) which enabled 
them to hold happy and near intercourse and friendship with their 
maker, and the loss of which may well be termed death, as the com- 
mon experience and expressions of mankind testify in many instances 
of human relationship. It cannot be supposed that God ever intended 
to put an immediate end to their natural existence on eating the fruit ; 
had he intended it, he would have done it. Yet his word cannot be 
falsified. Die they certainly must. Another than a merely natural 
extinction of life must therefore be looked for. And that other deatli 
certainly was, partly in what has been stated, the losing of the sensi- 
ble enjoyment of the divine favour, wherein only, 

D 



34 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



life is found, 



All else beside, a shadow and a sound ; 

and partly and chiefly, in the deterioration of their moral and spiritual 
nature generally ; which, deterioration, compared with the state in 
which they were created, may well be called also a death, and which 
began in Adam and Eve and increased in their descendants, from gene- 
ration to generation, until it ended in the natural death of the whole 
human race, (except one family,) at once, in the deluge : and we 
know how death has not failed to be executed upon man sinct, 
the deluge. Thus far was the snake's truth false. For God's 
denunciation d id take place. They did " surely die." But it was 
more false still. For, even naturally, death, in its seeds, began to 
work in Adam on his transgression, and was never to be obstructed 
by the fruit of the tree of life, as it would otherwise have been. And 
the end, we know, whether at a longer or a shorter period, was total 
death. Adam therefore may as well be considered to have become 
the subject of the divine denunciation, the moment he broke the di- 
vine law, and sentence was passed upon him ; as a criminal among 
men is considered to be dead, as to all purposes of social or civil life, 
when his condemnation has been given. The intervening period, 
between that and execution, does not restore him to civil life ; and 
certain execution, at the appointed day, hour, and moment, com- 
pletes his positive extinction. So much for the snake's truth, that 
Adam should not die. As to the snake's truth respecting the trees of 
knowledge and life, he had said nothing about them. Cain is there- 
fore exceedingly incorrect, to say the least. But leaving form, let us 
come to substance, and try his grand argument. He says, " know- 
ledge is good, and life is good, and how can both be evil ?" mean- 
ing, as far as I can discern, that two good tilings cannot be also evil 
things ; and therefore, knowledge being good, why did God debar 
ye from it, as if it were evil ; and life being good, why should ye 
not have secured it by plucking the tree ; or why has God driven ye 
away from it, as if it were an evil thing ? Thus slily does Cain 



WITH NOTES. 35 

charge his maker with having, under a pretence of their being evil, 
deprived his creatures of two good things, knowledge, and life. Our 
business then is, to unravel this mystery, or rather, detect this fallacy. 
The deception of Cain's argument consists in this, that he speaks of 
knowledge and life in the abstract. For, in the abstract, certainly, 
knowledge and life are, as he says, really good, and not evil, and it 
would be an act of cruelty to deprive any being of them : which is 
the very thing Cain aims to fix upon his maker. But Cain is not to 
be allowed thus to puzzle and confound the case, by making 
premises of his own, in order to come to his own conclusion. He 
must therefore not be suffered to argue thus at large, but be con- 
fined to the actual circumstances of the case. And then it will be 
found, that the question is not, whether knowledge, generally, be 
evil ; (which nobody affirms ;) but, whether the particular know- 
ledge, which God had forbidden Adam to acquire from that fruit, be 
or be not evil. And who, for a moment, can doubt that, unless he 
deny all moral government ? For is not all knowledge evil, which is 
obtained through the medium of crime ? Or if any one maintain, 
that good knowledge may be obtained through the medium of evil 
actions ; still, must not such knowledge, even if good in its nature, 
possess a peculiarity of moral evil ? However, the knowledge ob- 
tained by the transgression was, intrinsically, and in its very nature- 
evil, as has been shewn, and as Eve herself ruefully confessed and 
deplored ; and doubtless Adam too. Nor, otherwise, would God 
have forbidden it. True, the divine goodness, according to his eternal 
purpose, has made this very transaction the medium of unspeakable 
good to his fallen creatures. But that does not alter the moral quality 
of the evil thing that he has thus transmuted. Disobedience was evil, 
and what was acquired by it must necessarily be so too upon every 
moral principle. As to the other branch of Cain's question, how 
can life be evil, being a good thing generally ; that must be treated 
in the same way, by confining the argument to the case before us ; 
and then it is easy to see, as indeed we have seen in part, that the 
life which Adam would have acquired, had he remained in Eden, 

D2 



36 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

and warded off death by the use of the tree of life, would have been 
very evil indeed, by keeping him in that deteriorated state of moral 
and spiritual existence, far from his maker's favour. Whereas by his 
expulsion, and subsequent death, he attained, no doubt, that better 
life, which his faith in the promised seed secured to him. Thus is 
Cain's question presumed to be answered, " If knowledge and life 
be separately good, how can both be evil ?" We now proceed. 

ADAM. 

t 

Our orisons completed, let us hence, 
Each to his task of toil not heavy, though 
Needful : the earth is young, and yields us kindly 
Her fruits with little labour. 



Cain, uiy son, 

Behold thy father cheerful and resign'd, 
And do as he doth. 

[Exeunt ADAM and EVE. 

ZILLAH. 

Wilt thou not, ray brother ? 

ABEL. 

Why wilt thou wear this gloom upon thy brow, 
Which can avail thee nothing, save to rouse 
The Eternal anger? 

ADAH. 

My beloved Cain, 
Wilt thou frown even on uie? 



WITH NOTES. 37 

CAIN. 

No, Adah! no; 

I fain would be alone a little while. 
Abel, I'm sick at heart; but it will pass: 
Precede me, brother I will follow shortly. 
And you, too, sisters, tarry not behind; 
Your gentleness must not be harshly met: 
I'll follow you anon. 

ADAH. 

If not, I will 
Return to seek you here. 

ABEL. 

The peace of God 
I3e on your spirit, brother! 

\_Exeunt ABEL, ZILLAH, and ADAH. 



Note 8. 

In tliis family group, have we not interesting features? Let 
us examine diem individually. The author, it must be owned, in 
the person of Adam, pays deserved and repeated homage to the 
goodness of his maker, by a cheerful and grateful recognition of his 
paternal tenderness ; who, although as a moral governor bound to 
maintain his own most righteous and benign laws, yet so greatly mi- 
tigated, not to say abolished, or changed into good, the evil effects 
of their infraction. With respect however to the mitigation of the 
immediate effects; in the first place, Adam, instead of instant anni- 



38 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

hilation, was permitted to enjoy existence a great length of time ; for 
there can be no doubt he did enjoy it, and that even with a consider- 
able degree of his maker's favour, and his providential care and good- 
ness. In the next place, compare the execution with the sentence, 
upon the earth. The sentence ran thus; " Cursed is the ground for 
thy sake : in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life : thorns 
also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee ; and thou shalt eat the 
herb of the field : in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread 'till 
thou return unto the ground." Yet scarcely had this judgment been 
pronounced, when we find the culprit himself, the sufferer from it, not 
only, according to Lord Byron's just conception, and even in his 
extra-paradisaical condition, performing his sun-rise and grateful ori- 
sons with his family, but, forthwith proceeding cheerfully to his toil, 
which by his own confession, could not have been much, if any thing 
greater than in Eden, since he describes it as " not heavy, though 
needful ;" and rejoicing, that the " young earth yielded kindly her 
fruits with little labour." Eve's and Zillah's affectionate enforcement 
of Adam's fatherly and generous exhortation, or invitation rather, to 
labour, apparently not more than healthful exercise, is, more serious- 
ly it must be owned, and further urged on Cain, by Abel's monitory 
intimation of the painful consequences of his wrong habit of mind. 
And can reason shew the contrary of Abel's apprehension ? Rather, 
is it not the height of irrationality to be disregardful of the favour of 
the divine author of bur existence, whom we have every reason to 
know is goodness itself, as well as moral purity, and who is not 
indifferent to the neglect and disobedience, or the regard and moral 
conformity, of his intelligent creature, man ? But, in a different 
strain still, Cain's beloved Adah, whose character throughout will, 
I presume be deemed an amiable one, shews her attachment to 
him. The author has also well and amiably conceived of Abel's 
character in his farewell to his brother. Cain's reply to Adah raises 
some interest in his favour, from his apparently softened, and even 
distressed, feelings. But let him again speak for himself, before we 
pronounce, too peremptorily, upon his improved state of mind. 



WITH NOTES. 39 

CAIN. (Sol 'US. ) 

And this is 

Life! Toil! aud wherefore should I toil] because 
My father could not keep his place in Eden. 
What had / done in this"? I was unborn, 
I sought not to be born ; nor love the state 
To which that birth has brought me. Why did he 
Yield to the serpent and the woman'? or, 
Yielding, why suffer? What was there in this? 
The tree was planted, and why not for him 1 ? 
If not, why place him near it, where it grew, 
The fairest in the centre? They have but 

One answer to all questions, " 't was his will 

And he is good." How know I that? Because 

He is all-powerful, must all-good, too, follow? 

I judge but by the fruits and they are bitter 

Which I must feed on for a fault not mine. 

Whom have we here? A shape like to the angels, 

Yet of a sterner and a sadder aspect 

Of spiritual essence: why do I quake? 

Why should I fear him more than other spirits, 

Whom I see daily wave their fiery swords 

Before the gates round which I linger oft, 

In twilight's hour, to catch a glimpse of those 

Gardens which are my just inheritance, 

Ere the night closes o'er the inhibited walls 

And the immortal trees which overtop 

The cherubim-defended battlements'? 

If I shrink not from these, the firc-arm'd angels, 



40 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Why should I quail from him who now approaches? 

Yet he seems mightier far than them, nor less 

Beauteous, and yet not all as beautiful 

As he hath been, and might be: sorrow seems 

Half of his immortality. And is it 

So 1 ? and can aught grieve save humanity'? 

He comcth. 

Note 9. 

This soliloquy, in which Lord Byron lias, with his masterly 
hand, given fresh expression to his principal character, requires to be 
analyzed. But I must begin by confessing, that the incipient sym- 
pathy lately expressed for Cain, on account of his apparently softened 
feelings, is neutralized at least, if not wholly extinguished, by this 
soliloquy. Cain takes upon him to say many things which, if true, 
would impugn the character of his great creator ; all of whose moral 
and intelligent creatures are not of Cain's mind. Cain's allegations 
or insinuations, or both, must therefore be enquired into. 

First, as to his complaint of life ; that, it is conceived, is suffi- 
ciently answered in Note 5, to shew, that he had no just cause of 
complaint of life at all. By such complaint he outrages the immense 
preponderancy of human opinion and feeling. And in regard to 
toil ; his own father, as we have just seen, has completely prevented, 
or removed, that ground of discontent. But what good man com- 
plains of honourable toil? Besides, if we try him by the agricultur- 
ists, or husbandmen, or farmers, of the present day, especially with 
his father's evidence, what will be their verdict on his complaint of 
toil, whilst " the young earth yielded her fruits with little labour," 
and in a climate so luxurious and abundant ? Such indeed were the 
local characteristics of his situation, that it were almost difficult to 
believe the divine curse upon the ground, for man's sake, had been 
executed, Discontented, murmuring Cain, however, enquires the 



WITH NOTES. 41 

reason of all this toil ; and he perceives it to be, because his father 
could not keep his place in Eden. That was true. But, (had the 
toil been such as to have rendered the enquiry necessary,) he ought 
to have asked, or rather not forgotten, for he certainly knew, the 
reason that his father could not keep his place in Eden. We, how- 
ever, have seen, it was impossible he should, unless moral government 
be disclaimed, and its sanctions of course reprobated, or God declared 
to be a being so devoid of goodness, as to be utterly unfit to be 
a moral governor. But that has been before considered. Cain 
next asks, what he had done in that ? We reply, certainly nothing. 
And for this he himself gives the best of reasons; he was unborn. 
He adds, that he sought not to be born. That also is readily ad- 
mitted ; for what mortal ever did, or could, or can, seek to be born ? 
But if by these remarks he mean to insinuate, that not being per- 
sonally the transgressor, he ought not to be punished for the trans- 
gression, the reply is, neither was he. For what, in the shape of 
punishment, had he to complain of, that his father, and his brother 
had not ? and yet they did not complain. Is it, among men, gene- 
rally thought commendable to be dissatisfied with one's parentage, or 
birth into the world, unless indeed so far, as, where deemed desir- 
able, to excite to honourable exertion to improve their circumstances? 
Cain, however, enjoyed, at least possessed, and might have enjoyed, 
had he been so minded, all the fruits of the earth which " yielded so 
kindly with little labour." And he had never known any other ; 
which his father had. But from Adam's apparent character it 
does not seem at all likely he had been filling Cam's head with 
stories of the better condition of the earth in Eden, but rather the 
reverse. Why then was Cain so singularly dissatisfied? Can 
he be justified? But he says moreover, he loves not the state 
to which his birth had brought him. So it plentifully appears. 
Yet he seems the only one of his family of that turn of mind. 
They all appear pleased with their existence. Then why not he ? 
What peculiar disadvantages did he labour under? lie 'has stated 
none, and therefore complains \vitliout even assigning a reason for 



42 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

his complaint : a course of proceeding, which, I apprehend, will be 
approved by very few, if any, of these days at any rate. He asks 
why his father yielded to the serpent and the woman. By the wo- 
man, I suppose he means his mother. His father did not, as it 
should seem, yield to the serpent; for the scripture says, Adam 
was not deceived. Adam therefore appears to have yielded to Eve, 
probably from his attachment to her. His offence therefore was 
the more direct and deliberate. But, says Cain; if my father 
did yield, why should he suffer for it? Now does Cain ask that 
question ( "Or, yielding, why suffer?") in simplicity, as really con- 
sidering what the reason of his father's suffering such suffering as 
we have seen it to be was; or does he ask it in a way of alledging 
that his father suffered unjustly, and without any reasonable cause? It 
seems to me that the latter was the spirit in which he put the ques- 
tion. Upon that supposition, the answer is very obvious, that his 
father must necessarily have suffered, as Cain calls it, if moral go- 
vernment, as before observed, be not to be rejected as between the 
Almighty and his moral creature man. But will or can any reason- 
able man say, that moral government generally should be abolished ? 
Should government among men be abolished ? And should not God 
govern men, if they see it needful to govern each other? Govern- 
ment doubtless, even among men, is a species of evil (though a great 
good) arising from man's depraved character through this very trans- 
gression. Were man perfectly restored, or perhaps endued with a 
superior moral and spiritual character, even to that he possessed be- 
fore his fall, as scripture is generally thought to promise before the 
world's final change, government would scarcely be wanted, where 
there should be no evil human disposition. Regulations, voluntarily 
observed and never violated, might be the utmost that such a desir- 
able state of man would require. But till then, who are they, who, 
like Cain, complain of moral government? Or if there be any, are 
they to be regarded ? Cain next asks, " what was there in this ? " 
If moral government is not to be exploded (and we may ask all civi- 
lized mankind if it should be) then, there was every thing in it. 



M'lTH NOTES. 43 

God had declared to Adam before hand the penalty of transgressing- 
his command. Was it a hard command, or had the deity no right to 
give it? Was it morally possible it should not be maintained, with- 
out letting in the rudiments of all disorder and disorganization? 
There was therefore every thing in it. He then argues, the tree was 
planted, and why not for his father? Moral government again must 
answer that question. Yet if a more specific answer were required, 
it might be, that, God evidently did not intend the tree for Adam's 
use in common with the other trees of the garden. It was planted 
by the Almighty for purposes of his own, and does it not seem ex- 
tremely over-bearing and arrogant in Cain, to say the least, that he 
should desire to debar his maker, beneficent as he was, from the reser- 
vation of a single plant out of thousands ? I confess, I feel, that scarcely 
any term could be too harsh in reprobating this tyrannical disposition 
in Cain. Who will not say, that it would have been infinitely more 
proper in him to have enquired, not why his maker did not plant 
that tree for his father ; but why his father did not abstain from its 
fruit, in obedience to his creator's will? Had he not enough 
beside ? But though we have no disposition to bear too hard upon 
our first father (for we are all human) and yet know not how to 
justify him; still there is one thing we can do, which is, to admire 
the surpassing benignity of the Almighty ; who himself, like a ra- 
ther, yet necessarily retaining his character of a moral governor, miti- 
gated as he did, the penalty of Adam's choice, by declaring, as in 
effect he did, 

" Man shall find grace, the other none." 

But Cain pursues his interrogations of his creator. If not; if the tree 
were not for his father, then, at any rate, why place his father near it 
where it grew? as if God had placed him malignantly in the way of 
temptation; or as if his placing him near it were as good as telling him 
it was his; or that such proximity gave his father a right to it, notwith- 
standing his creator's prohibition. All that might have been so, but 



44 CAIN, A MYSTEUY, 

for the divine express prohibition which gave Adam full notice. But 
we have seen it was not Adam who in the first instance neglected the 
admonition. He fell, not inadvertently, but by choice. God placed 
Adam near the tree, that is in the same territory, as we have seen, 
that Adam might, as a moral agent, shew his relative connexion with 
his creator by obedience. Yet Adam, and Eve too, might have 
avoided the tree if there were any thing particularly inviting in the 
appearance of its fruit. But the probability seems to be, they had 
not felt any peculiar attraction of that kind ; that is, Eve more espe- 
cially, until met by the serpent in its neighbourhood. As to the 
serpent, we shall have more to do with him, in the proper place. 
Cain observes, that his father and mother had but one answer to all 
questions, viz. " that it was God's will, and that God was good." 
But what Plato, what Cicero, what Christian, will not admire Lord 
Byron for ascribing such an answer to Adam and Eve ? If God be 
a being of infinite and perfect wisdom and goodness, how can his 
will be rationally disputed ? And if so, and if God be also a moral 
governor, and moral government be right, could Cain have received 
from his parents a more rational or proper, or (it ought to have been 
to him) satisfactory answer ? But Cain will not easily give up his 
point. He asks, " how knows he that God is good ? Does all-good 
follow all-powerful ?" We reply, certainly not, and it is admitted in 
a preceding note ; but in that note it is maintained, that although 
power and goodness do not necessarily go together, yet thai, in the 
instance of the deity, they most assuredly do, and that it cannot be 
otherwise. Other and interesting opportunities will be afforded for 
more largely shewing that fact. But we cannot omit asking Cain, 
how it came to pass, that he only, of the whole human family, could 
not tell whether God was good or not ? His father, his mother, (the 
immediate objects of the divine displeasure, such displeasure and so 
tempered, as it was,) his brother, and his sisters, they all knew, and 
felt, and gratefully confessed, and exulted in, the goodness of their 
maker. How was it that C'ain did not know even from the creation, 
from all the works of nature, from the enjoyments of all creatures, 



WITH NOTES. 45 

that he who formed and sustained them could not be but good ? 
from an evil being such things could not have proceeded. Then 
whence was Cain's ignorance of this goodness ? Must it be ascribed 
to the weakness of his intellect, or the wilful perverseness of his 
disposition ? But Cain does not seem deficient in intellect, for he 
reasons much. So here, he says he judges of God's goodness by 
the fruits, and they are bitter. As Cain is very dark in his inuendos 
generally, we must find out as well as we can, what are the bitter 
fruits he alludes to, for he does not say in his speech, unless they be 
life, and toil, and his father's not keeping his place in Eden, and 
the tree planted and not for his father, and his father being placed 
near it the fairest in the centre. If these then are not the bitter 
fruits Cain means, I own I know not what they are. I think how- 
ever we may venture to conclude they are ; and then the question 
comes, whose fruits they are, and how bitter they are after all this 
display. Was it a fruit of God's goodness then, or of his parents' 
wilful disobedience, that his father kept not his place in Eden? Cain 
evidently would have us believe that it was God's goodness, viz. 
such a kind of goodness, which produced all these bitter fruits : but 
that cannot be allowed upon Cain's mere assertion or insinuation. 
If God had enticed or forced Eve or Adam to eat of the forbidden 
tree, then the bitter fruits certainly would have been of God's procur- 
ing. But instead of that, the Almighty laid the strongest interdict pos- 
sible against their committing that act. As to his toil, that was another 
fruit ; but whether from God's goodness, or his parents' fault, who 
can have any difficulty in determining ? And how terribly bitter 
that fruit was, let not only the husbandman of this northern clime 
say, but Adam himself, in that clime, where Cain himself existed, 
and where " the young earth yielded kindly her fruits with little la- 
bour." As to his life, if he meant that as another fruit, and if he 
found it a bitter one, are we not forced to ask, whether its bitterness 
were not of his own making? Life does not appear to have been 
bitter to the rest. But Cain says moreover, that he must feed on 
these bitter fruits, and that for a fault not his. As to the fault of 



46 CAiy. A MYSTERY, 

his father and mother, no one says it was his fault; it was theirs 
exclusively. But had Cain no faults that were his? With respect 
to the necessity of his feeding on the bitter fruits, we have seen 
how bitter they were, and may then judge of the hardship Cain 
had to undergo in being obliged to feed on the same provisions on 
which his father, mother, brother, and sisters gladly fed. Has he 
shewn that he possessed greater intellect or discernment than they? 
Whence his more fastidious palate ? Whence his delicater stomach ? 
His description of the angel-like being whom he now discerns to 
be approaching him is imaginative ; and perhaps sufficiently near the ' 
truth, had we the means of knowing it. He asks, why he quakes 
at him 1 and why he should fear him more than the fiery-sworded 
spirits around the gates of Paradise ? And afterwards he seems 
half disposed to quail again at this same novel, angel-like appear- 
ance with whom we also shall presently be pretty familiar, and who 
is, in fact, no other, nor less, than Lucifer himself. Cain seems to 
attribute more of terror to him, from some cause or other, than to 
those other spirits. But one thing appears certain ; that Cain had 
not adopted, unless he was naturally and invincibly timorous or 
nervous, that sentiment of one (in Racine, I believe,) who said to 
Abner, " Oh, Abner! I fear God, and I fear none beside him." 
But Cain, having thus cast off the fear of his maker, was a prey to 
any fear beside. His claim however to Eden's gardens as his "just 
inheritance" is equally modest and curious. Let us just look into 
this claim of his, because he speaks of it as something of which he 
had been (by his maker of course) unjustly deprived. In the first 
place, if I mistake not, the term, inheritance, means, either pos- 
session of property actually descended and come to an heir; or else, 
an indefeisible right which an heir has to his ancestor's estate after 
his ancestor's death. Now in either of these senses, Cain could 
have no claim at all to the inheritance of Eden's gardens. In the 
first case of course he could not, because they had never actually 
descended or come into his possession ; so that he could not have 
been deprived of that which he never had. In the other case, that 



i 



WITH NOTES. 47 

of having a right to them in future, even in his father's life time ; 
if his father had absolute right in them himself, then Cain could 
not claim them ; because his father might, if he chose, prevent their 
descending to Cain, either by parting with them, or forfeiting them 
for treason, or disinheriting his son by will, and giving them to 
some other person. If his father had not an absolute right himself, 
but only a conditional right, holding them upon certain terms which 
he violated ; then, his father having forfeited his own right, how 
could Cain possibly have any, unless the gardens had been entailed 
upon him? Such then was actually the case here. Adam forfeited 
his interest in Eden. Eden was not entailed upon Cain, as Canaan 
was, afterwards, upon the descendants of Abraham, by the Almighty. 
What "just inheritance" in Eden's gardens then had Cain to complain 
of being deprived of? He had plainly no inheritance of any kind 
at all in them. But Lord Byron well sustains his hero's character 
in thus making him advance such a claim, to shew, by that illustra- 
tion, how one evil quality such as pride, or unreasonable discontent, 
and especially both those qualities united, lead to other moral evils; 
even to the assumption of right to things to which we have no right : 
dispositions these, which have plentifully led to rapine, tyranny, and 
oppression among men. Cain ascribes an appearance of "sorrow" 
to the being he sees approaching him, even to the extent of " half of 
his immortality." Yet the fire-armed cherubim whom he describes 
as defending the battlements of Eden, he does not say looked sorrow- 
ful at all. Whence the difference? We shall see perhaps in the 
proper place ; only remarking here, that sorrow does not seem to 
be a covetable thing by human beings at any rate, generally, if not 
universally speaking. He then asks " Can aught grieve save hu- 
manity? " This seems to savour somewhat of the rhetorical in Cain ; 
for there were but very few human beings in his time, and none of 
them grieved, save himself. And what reasonable cause of grief he 
had, has been enquired into, and seems inexplicable, except as 
arising from pride and discontent; (unreasonable discontent ;) and 
who sympathizes with such grief, or the subjects of it? But room 



48 CA1V, A MYSTE11Y, 

must now be made for the great personage, with v*hom, from some 
parts of Cain's description of him, as sorrowful and so forth, one 
almost feels compelled to sympathise, and to be interested for him 
too, as we had begun to be, for Cain. But how permanent these 
feelings may be, when, as Cain has done, he also shall have spoken 
for himself, will shortly appear. He now advances. 

Enter LUCIFER. 



LUCIFER. 
Mortal ! 

CAIN. 

Spirit, who art thoti? 

LUCIFER. 

Master of spirits. 

Note 10. 

Before we engage with this formidable dramatis persona, we 
would prefer endeavouring to ascertain, if there are reasonable 
grounds for believing that such a being really exists. For there have 
been, and are, some men of some name, who even admit and de- 
fend (at least professedly and generally) the authenticity of the 
Bible, both Old and New Testament, and who have maintained, and 
do maintain, that all which is said therein, respecting the devil, or 
Satan (and that the Lucifer of Lord Byron is the same with the 
devil or Satan is not disputed) is merely figurative ; not pointing to 
or intending, any real being or existence, but only the metaphysical 
" principle of evil, 1 ' producing the effects which have been wrongly 
ascribed to the devil, Lucifer, or Satan, as a person, or to his sub- 



WITH NOTES. 49 

ordinate agents. Much reasoning has been employed to support 
this hypothesis. To go no further however in the matter than I can 
help, I will merely state, that there are some plain considerations 
I cannot get over, which induce me to believe, with Lord Byron, 
(for though as a dramatic writer not bound to believe all he writes, 
I think he did in this instance) that Lucifer, or Satan, is in fact a 
real being, originally good and high, but now evil, and physically 
as well as morally degraded, though still possessing great and des- 
tructive powers, (yet limited and controled by God) and those 
powers arising, so far as human nature is affected by them, from 
his intellectual, as well as other superiority to man. The consi- 
derations I have alluded to are simply these. In reading the 
New Testament throughout in relation to this subject, and indeed 
the Old Testament as well, there is so great a multiplicity of pas- 
sages, without a solitary one to contradict them, where this being is 
spoken of as a real person, with such attributes and acts ascribed 
to him, as it seems to me impossible to reconcile with their being 
intended to apply to a metaphysical, ideal, principle of moral evil 
only. That there are in the scriptures numerous figurative expres- 
sions, and some moral qualities, such as wisdom for instance, per- 
sonified, and other things allegorized, as the parable of the prodi- 
gal son, is certain. But where, from the beginning to the end of 
the Bible, will be found such a continued, unvarying, multiplied 
ascription of personal acts to any other subject, as is found in rela- 
tion to Lucifer or Satan ? The greatest violence therefore must be 
done to all received notions of reading, and understanding what we 
read, in order to turn what is said of the individual reality of this 
being into figure or allegory. Another consideration is this ; that 
although the persons referred to, as thinking Satan a mere nonentity, 
would confound the accounts of his possessing men, as related in 
the New Testament, with the diseases they are said to have laboured 
under ; yet I see so marked a distinction, unvaryingly made, between 
such possessions, and those maladies of a mere physical nature 
which are there also mentioned ; that such confusion, of opposite 



50 CAIN, A MYSTERY. 

things, appears to me to be wholly untenable. I therefore must 
conclude, that scripture speaks of Lucifer, or Satan, as a real being 
or existence. Should it be objected, in this connexion, as incredible, 
that God should have created such a being; or that such a being, 
originally good, should have become evil; or being so, that God 
should suffer his existence, or his malevolence to be exercised in the 
world; those points will be perhaps, briefly considered in a future 
note, or notes. 

But besides what has been said respecting the real existence of 
Lucifer, and, if the expression may be allowed, in aid of revelation > 
we shall advert to other sources of information, than revelation, for 
guiding our conclusions. And if, for demonstrating the existence 
of God, the universal consent of all times and nations be of any 
weight, why not for demonstrating the existence of Lucifer? The 
same question may be asked in reference to general tradition, and 
the indelible impressions of the human mind. All these sources of 
evidence apply to the subject of the existence of Lucifer, with per- 
haps equal force as to that of deity. Neither is fabulous antiquity, 
or ancient fable, wanting, to afford its concurrent testimony. And 
who denies an appropriate weight of testimony to ancient and tra- 
ditionary stories ? The wisest, as well as the most ingenious, of the 
heathen classic writers, Plato, Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Horace, Homer, 
Livy, to name no others, are constanly adduced to evidence leading 
facts, relating to the world and the transactions which have taken 
place in, or respecting it. The deluge alone need be mentioned as 
having ancient and heathen testimony, derived from tradition, to 
support the scripture account of it : not that I mean, properly 
speaking, that scripture needs such support. And as there can be 
no counterfeit where there is no original ; therefore, generally speak- 
ing, there can be no tradition where there is no fact, whether more 
or less remote or disfigured, as its foundation. For it is not in the 
nature of man, (at least among civilized and well-informed society,) 
that false reports should universally, and for the utmost length of 
time, obtain. That, experience contradicts, without any laboured 



WITH NOTES. 51 

proof. That there have been some false reports, or even traditions, 
eventually detected as false, rather confirms than weakens the ge- 
neral truth. 

Consent then, of mankind, if not absolutely universal, yet suffi- 
ciently near it for this purpose, does concur, from the earliest times 
to the present, and in all nations and countries, and whether savage 
or civilized, to attest the fact now before us, viz. the real and per- 
sonal existence of a spiritual, and mighty, evil being. This notion 
and belief has obtained amongst not only the best informed minds, 
and those of the highest moral character, but also among the least in- 
formed, and least moral of mankind, and does so to this day. With 
respect to the first class, let all civilized Europe witness ; and for the 
other class we refer to the wild and untutored African, the supersti- 
tious Indian, and the ferocious American. Whence then this univer- 
sal persuasion but from tradition, however modified, transmitting 
facts, however disfigured, from one generation of mankind to another; 
and with them spreading as they overspread the earth ? The fact is 
stubborn; I mean of universal persuasion. Moral evidence, and 
reasonable certainty must, therefore be rejected if we would refuse 
weight to this testimony, arising from the belief of men of every class 
of moral and intellectual character. Whether we will condescend 
to endeavour thus to ascertain rationally the truth of the proposition 
before us, (the existence of Lord Byron's Lucifer, and the scriptures' 
Satan) or envelope ourselves in the proud mantle of universal scepti- 
cism, is another matter. 

Having thus however glanced at the evidence arising from uni- 
versal consent and tradition for the proof of the existence, and real 
personality, of Lucifer, we now pass easily to a brief notice of certain 
historical documents of antiquity, derived also from tradition. 

It is assumed, because Lord Byron says nothing to contradict, 
it, but rather every thing tending to confirm it, that his Lucifer is 
the same with " Leviathan that crooked serpent," Isaiah xxvii. 1, and 
the " Lucifer" of Isaiah xiv. 1 2. For though these names are by the 
prophet accommodated primarily to Nebuchadnezzar king of Baby- 

E 2 



52 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Ion, yet I apprehend that it is thought, by the best commentators 
on the Bible, that the name is identified with that " prince of the 
power of the air," who is, under various denominations, so largely 
noticed in the New Testament, viz. Satan, or the devil. 

In the Samothracian mysteries of the Cabiri (see Gale's Court 
of the Gentiles) Pluto is styled Axiokersos, which is the same with 
the Phenician or Hebrew Achazi Keresji. e. Death is my Possession, 
Strength, or Power ; which is the character given to the devil by the 
Hebrews. Thus the author of the epistle to the Hebrews styles him, 
Hebrews ii. 14.; viz. "that through death he (that is Christ) might 
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 1 which 
is, according to the Hebrew idiom, Achazi Keres ; or, according 
to the Greek, Axiokersos, the Lord of Destruction; which was 
Pluto's name among the Samothracinn Cnbiri. 

As Pluto was termed by the Phenicians Muth, Death ; and 
by the Samothracians Axiokersos, Lord of Death ; so also by the 
Egyptians, Typhon ; whom they supposed to be a monstrous giant, 
cast down by Jupiter into Tartarus, or Hell, as an enemy of the 
gods ; it appears from Bochart, that Typhon, among the Egyp- 
tians, was the same with Pluto among the Grecians. 

To the fable of Pluto, may be subjoined that of the giant 
Enceladus, nearly, if not entirely, the same with Pluto. This 
Enceladus also was a fighter against the gods; and, either by 
Minerva, or Jupiter himself, cast down to Hell, and there over- 
whelmed with Etna, whence fire proceeded out of his mouth and 
nostrils, and which was referred to the burnings and erruptions of 
Etna. It can be no objection to these traditionary fables, that they 
are reasonably thought to have been brought by the Phenicians, from 
the Jewish church, into Greece. For the very name Enceladus, ap- 
pears to be derived from a transmutation of the Hebrew word akala- 
thon or, nesh akaluthon ; which, in Isaiah xxvii. 1 , is in English call- 
ed " Leviathan that crooked Serpent :" a slight and easy transposi- 
tionof some Hebrew, into Greek letters, effects this construction. 

That Enceladus is exactly parallel to the devil's character in 



WITH NOTES. 53 

Isaiah xxvii. 1, seems highly admissible from his other name Typlion, 
or Typhos; who is thus described by Pindar, Pythia 1 . "en Turtaro 
keitai the&n polemios Tuph&s ekatonkaranos : there lies in Tartarus 
that hundred-headed Typhos the enemy of the gods." The attri- 
butes of this Eticeladus or Typhon are said to be, that he waged war 
with Jupiter, and contended with him for the empire, for which he 
was struck down, by Jupiter, into Tartarus. More might be written 
to shew the accordance of these things with the scriptures ; but the 
little which has been said may be sufficient to create some evidence, 
from ancient tradition, that the attempts, made to destroy the gene- 
rally received declarations of the Bible, shewing the actual existence 
of Lord Byron's Lucifer, are too ill founded, and too sternly opposed 
by all moral testimony, to be successful with most men. I say 
most men ; for though I recollect that a multitude is not to be fol- 
lowed in evil; yet I would ask, if there be not instances in morals, 
and in philosophy, wherein weight is properly to be admitted to a 
vast preponderancyof numbers where intellect, integrity, and indepen- 
dency, are no more wanting in the many, than in the few. It has 
recently been observed, that it can be no discredit to ancient tradi- 
tion that it may be traced up to the matters related in the Bible. 
That divine record is universally allowed to contain the most an- 
cient account of the earliest proceedings of the earliest men from the 
creation of the world. If Bochart's authority may be credited, and 
Plutarch's, as cited by him, the eldest Egyptians looked upon Ty- 
phon as an evil god, or the cause of all ill ; and, hating as they did the 
Jewish patriarchs, who opposed their idolatry, and especially Mo- 
ses, for reasons obvious enough ; they applied the notions of this 
god of all ill to Moses, who was the instrument of such disasters 
(the ten plagues) to them. See Gale. 

Having thus, perhaps, succeeded, in some degree proportioned 
to the subject and to the limits prescribed to an occasion of this na- 
ture, in proving to the satisfaction of most persons, that in contend- 
ing with Lord Byron's Lucifer we are not fighting with a shadow, 
but with a real and powerful, malicious and vengeful being, accord- 



54 CAIN, A MYSTTRY. 

ing to evidence which it seems irrational to resist; we now return 
to the commencement of the interview between Cain and Lucifer. 

In answer, then, to Cain's question, to Lucifer, who he was, 
Lucifer announces himself " Master of Spirits." This may be ad- 
mitted to be true so far as relates to evil spirits; but certainly not 
as relating to good spirits. For that there are good spirits is as cer- 
tain, as that there are bad ones. And neither were doubted, as it 
should seem, by Lord Byron. But that Lucifer should be master 
of good spirits is not credible, from considerations which may occur 
hereafter, besides the gross improbability that such a dominion 
would be permitted to him by the Almighty. 

By spirits indeed, here, Lucifer could only mean angels ; viz. 
that order of intellectual and immaterial beings, spiritual and celes- 
tial, of high intelligence, and incomparably greater than man in every 
superior attribute. We are informed by scripture, which is the 
only source of our knowledge respecting them, that they were cre- 
ated before man. But at what earlier period, or whether at the 
time of the creation of the world, but preceding man's formation, 
and as composing the "host" of the heavens, we have no express 
account. Those who are conversant with the scriptures may learn 
much respecting these superior and interesting beings. They are, 
in fact, interesting to man, in either of the general characters they 
sustain, as good or bad. It appears most clearly, that they are ex- 
ceeding numerous, and that at some period, whether more or less 
remote from or nearer to, that of their own creation, we are not told, 
a considerable portion of these high intelligences used that volition 
and power with which their creator had endued them, in revolting 
from him ; but that the greater portion of them, in scripture lan- 
guage " kept their first estate." These important events are also 
figured out by the foregoing and other traditionary accounts to be 
gathered from prophane history, which, it cannot be reasonably 
doubted, had their origin from the Hebrew scriptures. Of the 
apostate, fallen, or revolted portion of these angels or spirits then, 
it is, that, as scripture abundantly informs us, Lucifer is what he 



WITH NOTES. 55 

stiles himself, "Master;" or head, chief, or prince. Thus "he 
hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out de- 
vils." And, " he casteth out devils through Beelzebub, the chief 
of the devils." Beelzebub, Satan, and Lucifer are all one. These 
then, the spirits of whom Lucifer tells Cain he is master, are 
largely described as busying themselves, under God's providential 
permission, in the affairs of mankind. Not indeed in assisting, or 
serving, (unless in bad matters,) but in injuring them; especially 
in whatever relates to their duty to their maker, and their eternal 
welfare. On the other hand, there is equal reason to be assured, 
that those of the angels, " who kept their first estate," are not only 
most happily occupied in attending their creator in his own more 
immediate presence, in their native regions of light and glory, but 
are also, most gratefully to themselves, employed in good offices 
to man, and in executing the purposes of God's government upon 
earth, and in the affairs of mankind : "Are they not sent forth to 
minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation?" These are 
therefore links in the great chain of intellectual being, which the 
Almighty, in his infinite goodness, has constituted between himself 
and man, the more extensively to manifest and communicate that 
happiness and enjoyment, which all his creatures derive from him- 
self, its everlasting source. As we are further informed also in 
scripture that opposition exists between the two classes of these 
spirits, the good and the evil, those who revolted and those who 
kept their first estate ; it is also on that account necessary to limit 
Lucifer's mastership to the former only. We have now seen what 
is meant by Lucifer's sounding title " Master of Spirits." But 
Cain cannot be supposed to have known what we know, and it 
therefore cannot be altogether surprizing mat he should be some- 
what dazzled by Lucifer's grand pretension. The conference, 
then, proceeds. 



56 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

And being so, canst thou 
Leave them, and walk with dust? 

LUCIFER. 

I know the thoughts 
Of dust, and feel for it, and with you. 

CAIN. 

How! 
You know my thoughts? 

LUCIFER. 

They are the thoughts of all 
Worthy of thought; 't is your immortal part 
Which speaks within you. 

Note 11. 

It is said above, that Cain cannot be supposed to have known 
so well who, or what Lucifer was, as we do. Yet from his man- 
ner he must apparently have had some idea that he was not exactly 
of die same character as those angels of God, who, we shall find 
presently, Cain was not unaccustomed to see, and who therefore 
" walked with dust" familiarly. lie seems however to have some- 
what rallied from his former quaking and quailing, so as to have 
answered Lucifer by asking who he was, (unless he did it in a fright, 
not knowing what he said,) after Lucifer had so magisterially salu- 
ted him with the startling address, " Mortal !" However, he does 
appear to have conducted himself with tolerable firmness towards 
this " mightier far, and sterner and sadder, and yet sorrowful" 
being. For he, first, was sufficiently collected to ask him, respect- 



WITH NOTES. 67 

fully, who he was ; and, being informed, to pay him a sort of 
compliment, by expressing his surprize that he should condes- 
cend to walk with dust. But Cain had departed from his God, 
and was therefore a subject of that malign, and even perhaps sub- 
duing influence, which, as well as an ensnaring influence also, 
Lucifer knew, and still better now knows, how to practise upon 
all that yield themselves to, and accept him as their lord and mas- 
ter. Of which, more will occur from Lucifer himself presently. 
I must therefore upon the whole take leave to observe upon the 
degeneracy of Cain (how unlike his father and brother !) in thus 
flattering Lucifer, whom I really think he felt was a being opposed, 
like himself, to his maker, by ascribing to him, as a condescen- 
sion, his associating with man. Man, so long as he retains his 
allegiance to his God, is a favourite of the Most High ; equally 
so as, not to say, through his Son, more so than, the highest 
archangel. And the angels of God therefore think it no condes- 
cension, but a high delight, to perform the commissions they re- 
ceive from heaven to mankind. This Cain must have known, had 
not his rebellious spirit indulged against his maker, darkened all 
his better faculties, and left the worst only to operate upon him. 
Thus therefore he deemed himself honoured by the notice of Luci- 
fer. Lucifer however, as will appear ere long, knew with whom 
he was now engaged, and without doubt had prepared himself 
with all his wiles. He therefore begins with Cain in the same 
way in which he succeeded with his mother, that is, by pretending 
to sympathy and feeling. He tells Cain he " knows the thoughts 
of dust, and feels for it, and with him." That Lucifer feels with 
such men as feel with him, there can be no doubt. And there is 
as little doubt that he feels for all men universally ; viz. much in 
the same way as the wolf feels^/b?- the sheep. But by his assertion 
that he knows the thoughts of dust, that is, of man, we must sup- 
pose he meant to impress Cain with the idea that he knew the 
thoughts, not only of Cain, but of all mortals. At that time mor- 
tals were very few. Had the world been peopled however, I pre- 



58 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

sume Lucifer would have extended his pretensions of knowing the 
thoughts of dust, to man generally, the whole human race. We 
ought however to question this. For were it the case, what an 
immense advantage would Lucifer possess ! But I no more believe 
that Lucifer has this power, than that he is master of good spirits, 
or, that he is the Omnipotent himself; whose sole prerogative it is 
to know the thoughts of man. It is not to be believed, therefore, 
that the knowledge of man's thoughts is entrusted even to good 
angels, much less to bad. Yet spirits, and Lucifer among them 
in an eminent degree no doubt, are extremely wise and sagacious ; 
and, from what they see and hear among mortals, can guess shrewd- 
ly, and probably with much accuracy, of men's thoughts, from their 
words and actions. It seems highly probable that Lucifer had been 
invisibly present and attending the foregoing family conferences, 
and heard all that Cain had said. For his locomotive and active 
powers may be conceived to be astonishingly great, short of ubi- 
quity, which belongs to the Omnipresent God only. At that early 
stage of the world he had little to attend to. Since that his occu- 
pations of course have been increased with the increase of man- 
kind ; and he is now very possibly, or rather certainly, obliged to 
commit some of his work to his inferior, and servile fellow rebels 
of whom he is " Master." With all these aids therefore, and Cain's 
communicativeness to him, he no doubt did, in an inferior sense, 
know his thoughts, which he cannot do, so long as man keeps 
them to himself. If he utter them aloud, Lucifer, or some of 
his satellites, may be at hand, and the one would register them 
in his memory if for his purpose, and the other report them also 
to his " Master," if relating to matters wherein the subaltern thought 
Lucifer's superior skill were required. It appears, to me that these 
ideas are not fanciful or idle, but important, as well as sanctioned 
by every evidence, natural, as well as strictly scriptural. 

Lucifer's pretensions, however, seemed to stagger Cain him- 
self, and he makes a question of Lucifer's knowledge of his cogit- 
ations. The "Master of Spirits" therefore plies Cain with flattery, 



WITH NOTES. 59 

as he had before done with sympathy. He tells Cain of the gran- 
deur of his thoughts, which there seems little reason to doubt 
Lucifer had picked up partly from Cain's observations to his pa- 
rents, and partly from the foregoing soliloquy of his which has 
been considered. And, for the first time, Lucifer tells Cain he 
had an immortal part, which it was, that dictated his sublime 
reveries. This bait, so finely gilded, Cain readily swallowed ; 
and the confabulation thus proceeds. 

CAIN. 

What immortal part? 

This has not been reveal'd : the tree of life 
Was withheld from us by my father's folly. 
While that of knowledge, by my mother's haste, 
Was pluck'd too soon ; and all the fruit is death ! 

LUCIFER. 
They have deceived thee; thou shalt live. 

CAIN. 

I live, 

But live to die : and, living, see nothing 
To make death hateful, save an innate clinging, 
A loathsome and yet all-invincible 
Instinct of life, which I abhor, as I 
Despise myself, yet cannot overcome 
And so I live. Would I had never lived! 

Note 12. 

Cain says, his immortal part had not been revealed. Lord 
Byron in his preface says, on the authority of Bishop Warburton, 



60 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

that the Old Testament did not reveal a future state to the Jews, 
but more especially not the book of Genesis. Yet it seems diffi- 
cult to believe, that those among the Old Testament patriarchs 
and others who are represented to have walked with God, and to 
have been much and personally favoured by their maker, should 
not have had some, if not full, as afterwards, yet satisfactory 
knowledge of a future existence after death imparted to them, al- 
though temporal sanctions alone were generally employed in en- 
forcing the observance of the divine institutions. Indeed the ac- 
counts given of several Old Testament individuals, and their own 
expressions, seem to establish this idea, so accordant also as it is, 
with the benignity of the Almighty displayed to them. To Adam 
and to Eve also, one scarcely knows how to imagine, that some 
intimation of a renewed existence after the present life embracing 
perhaps the real and natural immortality of the human soul, was 
not given ; conveyed, as may be supposed, in the promise, that 
the woman's offspring should destroy the author of their present 
calamity. How is it possible to confine the meaning of that pro- 
mise to the fact of the serpent bniising man's heel, and man bruis- 
ing his head, in a sense merely literal? It appears evident, that it 
was the intention of their merciful creator to convey consolation 
to the minds of his offending, but penitent creatures. That con- 
solation would be imparted by the intimation, that a future, and 
better existence should be thereafter obtained by them, through the 
victory of Christ over Satan or Lucifer. I deem them penitent, 
because that seems most probable, and is not contradicted by 
their stating the facts to their offended maker; Eve by attri- 
buting her error to the serpent, and Adam by attributing his to 
Eve. Those were days of great simplicity. Now no consolation 
could have been imparted to them without such an accompanying 
intimation of their restoration as has been supposed. And the 
kindness of the divine conduct subsequently, seems to confirm it. 
That this was Lord Byron's view of the matter also appears pro- 
bable, from that mention of the "Atonement" which will occur 



WITH NOTES. 61 

hereafter, notwithstanding the objection which Cain there makes 
to it. Generally speaking however, Cain may perhaps be allowed 
to have been sufficiently correct in saying, that his immortality 
had not been revealed. Fully so, certainly not ; although if com- 
municated to Adam and Eve, as above suggested, he must, from 
them, have heard something of it. Cain's observation of his mo- 
ther's haste in plucking the tree of knowledge too soon, is right so 
far as it squares with the fact, that it is always too soon to do what 
is wrong. Otherwise, as referring to her having done it before 
his father had secured life, notwithstanding their expulsion from 
Eden, by plucking the tree of life, it is inapplicable, as appears 
from what has been before said respecting the incapacity, as it 
should seem, of the fruit of the latter tree to confer instant immor- 
tality instead of a present remedy against disease, or the infirmi- 
ties and decays of nature ; so that it required a constant repetition. 
Had Adam therefore plucked of that tree first, he would have 
gained no benefit by so doing ; for not needing it, it would have 
been without effect. Or had Adam taken of the fruit, and had it 
possessed those powers of immediate immortality, it would only 
have procured them a perpetuity of unhappy existence, as has be- 
fore been observed, supposing a transgression to have subsequently 
occurred, which cannot be doubted; for the tree of life had no mo- 
ral efficacy. Cain therefore was not wise, as it seems to me, in im- 
puting folly to his father. And as to his father's removal from Eden 
that he might not eat of the tree of life, we have seen that it was 
done in mercy, and doubtless according to the foreknowledge and 
appointment of God, to whom nothing can be unforeseen, or un-> 
provided for. Cain further says, that all the fruit, of his mother's 
thus plucking the tree of knowledge, was death. That was true, 
in its mitigated meaning ; and supposing Cain ignorant of, or not 
to have appreciated, the amazingness of the provision of that bet- 
ter life which this very death was the forerunner of, to all that 
should embrace that medium, through which, the better life was 
to be obtained. Still Cain had no ground for speaking of that 



62 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

fruit of death as if it had been matter of surprize, since he welt 
knew that the Almighty had forewarned his parents of the effect 
of that other fruit, which produced this fruit of death. Where 
then was there any cause for wonder or complaint ? 

Lucifer here, in his reply to Cain's lamentation, assuring 
him his parents had deceived him, for that he should live, begins 
that course of instruction and deception with Cain, which, we shall 
presently, see, he carries to a great extent in the sense he puts up- 
on the immortality he has announced to Cain. For it will, after 
this, appear to be Lucifer's aim to persuade Cain, that he is im- 
mortal, not through an immortal nature bestowed upon him by 
his creator, but through a principle of life, existing in him, or he 
in it, independent of God, if not superior to him; thus leading 
Cain into gross atheism, for ulterior purposes, which will be gra- 
dually unfolded, for Lucifer's advantage, (so to term it,) and Cain's 
destruction. Such is the sympathy and feeling of this " Master 
of Spirits" who has thus introduced himself to Cain in the exer- 
cise of his vocation of " going about, seeking whom he may de- 
vour ;" and which vocation he was just then beginning to exercise. 
Since that time, abundant practice has made him a most consum- 
mate adept. Lucifer also was equally himself in slandering Cain's 
parents by saying " they have deceived thee.'' In the first place, 
though it was true, as Lucifer said, that Cain was immortal, and 
should not die eternally, (but live for ever, miserable or happy,) 
yet his parents had not deceived him in telling him of the divine 
denunciation as to his natural death. It is not to be supposed 
that, as Lucifer intimates, Adam and Eve had told Cain positively, 
as from themselves, he should die, as if they pronounced sentence 
upon him. Lucifer knew they had only reported GOD'S words 
to Cain. Lucifer therefore seems to me, like himself, to have 
charged the Almighty here with deception, as he did Eve, when 
he said "thou shall not surely die; for God doth know," and so 
forth. See then the depth of the malignity of Lucifer in his en- 
mity against his maker; in slandering whom he is always most 






WITH NOTES. 63 

in his element, unless when also destroying the souls of men. 
Lord Byron's penetration, in thus imagining the character of Lu- 
cifer, is admirable. 

In his reply to Lucifer, Cain seems not to have been at all 
comforted by the assurance that he should live, in spite of his pa- 
rents, or rather the divine deception : for such, Lucifer clearly 
meant to insinuate it was. For Lucifer deals much in insinuation. 
Quoth melancholy Cain "I live but to die." [And in one 
sense, what mortal does not ?] So he still harps upon this monster 
death : but he was not a Christian certainly ; therefore, so far as 
possible, allowance shall be made for him. Life and immortality 
had not then been brought to light by the Gospel. God's time 
was not come. But now it is, and Lucifer skulks, in comparison 
with what he did before. Yet Cain's father and mother, in all ap- 
parent probability, believed and rejoiced in the promise God had 
given them of future life and happiness, as before noticed, and 
which Cain must have heard of. Surely then Cain must have 
been what is usually called an unbeliever. That is, an unbeliever 
of the word of his creator! What happiness can such expect? 
As to Cain's avowal of seeing nothing to make death hateful, it is 
to be surmised he did not mean it in the sense which has been 
glanced at, viz. as being the introducer to a better life; in which 
view it could not properly, be hateful. Cain seems merely to 
mean, he could see nothing to make life desirable, consequently 
not death hateful ; therefore he was content to be extinguished or 
annihilated; forgetting what his friend Lucifer had told him, or 
will tell him there was that in him which could not die. How- 
ever, in this mere hatred of life how unlike was he to the rest of 
his family and of mankind since! For, with all its inconvenien- 
ces, we find life still more desirable, to the incalculable majority, 
than Cain thought it. Cain therefore I suspect must, in most or 
all his singularities be content with solitary dignity. Solitary dig- 
nity ! This reminds me of much on that subject presently. But 
Cain (I wrong him) says he does see something to make death 



64 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

hateful, namely, " an innate clinging, a loathsome and yet all in- 
vincible instinct of life which he abhors, as he despises himself, 
yet cannot overcome." Now here is his singularity again. That 
very clinging to life, and loathsome, and yet all-invincible instinct 
of life, which he abhors, is, I believe, not so abhorred by nine 
hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand of mankind. It is I 
apprehend generally thought to be implanted in all earthly crea- 
tures for their good. And as for his despising himself for not 
overcoming what was invincible, that seems very irrational, and 
what even the greatest philosopher or the greatest general that ever 
lived, would not have done, or was ever known to do : unless such 
philosopher or general were very short of a sane mind. Yet what 
moral evil (unless dreadfully rooted discontent) was there in Cain, 
which there was not, by his own confession, in Socrates ? and yet 
Socrates professed to have overcome it : but Socrates did not, it is 
conceived, reckon among his evils his instinct of life. He suffered, 
and then died, because they would suffer him to live no longer ; 
but even he (and Christianity was not then) died with hopes full 
of immortality. It is not meant that he was faultless, and who is ? 
Or who is expected to be ? Yet this does not countenance wilful 
error or vitiosity. " And so," says Cain, " I live ; and would I 
had never lived ! " Cain therefore lived miserably in spite of 
every surrounding providential mercy, and concludes with a wish 
than which none, certainly, more appropriate, could have been 
devised for him. But on the whole, I conceive he will have few, 
compared with all mankind, few imitators. The wonder is, if 
one man of any sanity can resemble him, in these days especially, 
when the Gospel, at any rate, if nothing else, brings complete re- 
lief. Lucifer however resumes his lecture. 

LUCIFER. 

Thou livcst, and must live for ever : think not 
The earth, which is thine outward cov'ring, is 



WITH NOTES. 65 



Existence it will cease, and them wilt be 
No less than thou art now 



No more? 



CAIN. 

No less ! and why 

LUCIFER. 

It may be thou shalt be as we. 



CAIN, 
And ye? 

LUCIFER. 
Are everlasting. 



CAIN* 

Are ye happy ? 



LUCIFER. 
We are mighty. 

CAIN. 
Are ye happy ? 



LUCIFER. 

No: art thou? 



66 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

How should I be so 1 Look on me ; 

LUCIFER. 

Poor clay ! 
And thou pretendest to be wretched! Thou! 

CAIN. 
I am : and thou, with all thy might, what art thou ? 

LUCIFER. 

One who aspired to be what made thee, and 
Would not have made thee what thou art. 

CAIN, 

Ah! 
Thou look'st almost a god ; and 

LUCIFER. 

I am none : 

And having fail'd to be one, would be nought 
Save what I am. He eonqner'd ; let him reign ! 

CAIN. 
Who? 

LUCIFER. 

Thy sire's Maker, and the earth's. 

CAIN. 

And heaven's, 



M'lTH NOTES, 67 



And all that in them is. So I have heard 
His seraphs sing ; and so my father saith. 



LUCIFER. 

They say what they must sing and say, on pain 
Of being that which I am and thou art 
Of spirits and of men. 

CATN. 

And what is that ? 

Note -13. 

Lucifer, in this stage of the dialogue, after announcing Cain's 
immortality, very truly tells him, that, compared with his ulti- 
mate state of being, his present earthly covering is scarcely exis- 
tence, and that it will cease. All this is true. For nothing can 
be more true, as Plato, and Cicero, and all Christians will ac- 
knowledge, than that this life is nothing compared with eternity, 
either in respect of duration or sensibility. Duration endless. 
Sensibility, either of happiness, or misery, most exquisite. And 
upon Lucifer's adding, that in such his ultimate and immortal 
state, Cain should not be a being less than he now was, and Cain 
expressing his ambition to be something more; Lucifer plainly 
tells him he should be as they ; viz. as Lucifer himself, and his 
fellow rebels against the Most High; and of whom he will pre- 
sently afford opportunity of saying a little more. Cain, however, 
does, here, shew some sense and spirit, by not being exactly sa- 
tisfied with his mighty friend's general assurance of his being like 
them; he desires to know what they, in fact, are. Lucifer, pa- 

F 2 



68 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

tron-like, a thinks to astound, if not satisfy, his client and adherent 
Cain, with one of their principal attributes, and therefore tells 
him they are "everlasting." This shall not be disputed here. 
Perhaps some deduction may be made from this attribute, or at 
least from Lucifer's pretensions to it, hereafter, in the proper 
place. But miserable Cain seems to have learnt, some way or 
other (though he would not take the lesson from his parents, or 
family, nor even practise it) that there was such a thing as hap- 
piness, though he refused the cup when offered to him, as will 
appear hereafter. He therefore asks his lofty yet sorrowful and 
new acquaintance the important question "Are ye happy?" 
It was a question, something like the sword of Michael, given him 
from the armoury of God, and similar in its powerful effects ; for 

" then Satan first knew pain, 



And writh'd him to and fro convolv'd ; so sore 
The griding sword, &c." 

But he tries to evade Cain's piercing question, 

" Which brought to his remembrance from what state 
He fell," 

by shifting it. He answers therefore by telling him of another 
of his attributes, " we are mighty." But even this not satisfying 
Cain's present anxious mind; and happiness appearing to him to 
be the chief good, and last end, of man [as in fact, rightly un- 
derstood, it is, for what is existence without it?] b he sticks to his 
text, and drives even Lucifer to a corner, by repeating his ques- 



a I do not mean this of all patrons. But are there not many Luci- 
ferian patrons among men ? 

b This is not meant to clash with the Platonic and Christian senti- 
ment in Note 3 that God is man's chief good and last end : for what 






WITH NOTES. 69 

tion, regardless of Lucifer's high-sounding, but hollow, com- 
pound attribute of everlasting might. The Master of Spirits there- 
fore, unable to resist answering, at last, being thus put to the ques- 
tion by his humble friend, confesses, Prometheus-like, the very 
truth, viz. that he and his associates are not happy. But as if re- 
solving to be even, or as far as may be lessen the effect of his 
avowal, he retorts on Cain the same question respecting himself. 
And he succeeds (as in parley he mostly does) in thus diverting 
Cain's attention. For had Cain been permitted to dwell upon 
the circumstance of his unhappiness, though possessing an ever- 
lasting and mighty nature, it might have led him to suspicious 
thoughts concerning his real character. Lucifer therefore asks 
Cain if he is happy ? And Cain's answer is a sad one, however 
true. He says " How should I be so ? Look on me." What 
he meant by desiring Lucifer to look upon him to see the proof 
of what he said, does not appear clear to me ; for the dire event 
had not yet occurred, for which the mark was set upon him. We 
must therefore suppose, that his dark, and discontented, and even 
daring nature, looked through his countenance, and that it was, 
in scripture language, somewhat " fallen." This seems the more 
likely, as he so much resembled this congenial spirit in character 
and conduct ; and he, we have learned, was also " sorrowful," and 

" Of a sterner and a sadder aspect" 
and 

" Sorrow seem'd half of his immortality." 

If therefore it is true, that happiness is important to man, it appears 
to me, that all praise is due to Lord Byron's memory, for thus 
evidencing, in his two prominent characters, that happiness, and 
contempt of God, go not together. And so Plato, as we have seen. 



is happiness but that? And where else can true happiness be found ? 
And what is not truly a thing, is not that thing. It may be a counter- 
feit of it. 



70 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Lucifer, nevertheless, undaunted, absolutely sneers at the 
inferiority of his poor friend's wretchedness to his own : 



" . Poor clay ! 

And thou pretendest to be wretched ! Thou ! " 

As if Cain were really too mean to be wretched. Cain, however, 
seems rather nettled as this indignity; he therefore persists in 
claiming the honour of being wretched, as well as Lucifer him- 
self, though "Master of Spirits, everlasting, and mighty." He 
manfully asserts, afresh, his own pretensions "I am" and, 
almost with an appearance of hostility, and certainly with less 
reverence, than he had before observed. For he interrogates 
" And thou, with all thy might, what art thou? " This was rather 
an affronting, or at least uncourtly, unceremonious treatment of 
one who had done Cain the condescension of walking with dust, 
as Cain himself expressed it. But Lucifer was not defective in 
that sort of wisdom, which, although it do not pursue " virtuous 
ends by virtuous means," nor even has discernment enough to see 
what is really and substantially, good, yet is extremely astute in 
every view. So here, Lucifer's end was, to entrap Cain, and 
get him (of which more hereafter) body and soul for himself for- 
ever. Cain was, probably his very first prey of the human race. 
Adam and Eve had turned to their God again. Of Abel there 
can be no doubt, because the scriptures testify of him. And Adah 
and Zillah appear to be piously disposed. Cain therefore, the 
only dissentient, the only one of the human family who had said 

" Evil, be thou my good ! " 



was a most covetable acquisition to Lucifer, as we shall see presently 
from his own shewing. As then the angler one while teazes, then 
amuses the finny object of his steady looks and serious regard ; or, 
as the deep politician, or the wary gamester, avoids perturbation ; 
and as the skilful general suffers not himself to be thrown out of his 



WITH NOTES. 71 

design by the petulance of his adversary, whom lie fully intends to 
overcome ; so Lucifer controls every emotion. He therefore coolly, 
and even with specious shew of civility and affection, informs his 
rather alarmed and inquisitive client, that he (Lucifer) was one who 
aspired to be what made him, and who would not have made him 
what he was. Cain appears to have been much struck by his com- 
munication. He did not, indeed, at once, advert to the impieties 
and folly of Lucifer in having attempted to 

" have equalled the Most High;" 

but instead of that, blinded as he was by his own defection from his 
maker, he fancies Lucifer, for such daring, must be something great, 
and so tells him he looks almost a god, and, was going, it should 
seem, to add some accompanying adulation, when Lucifer, honestly 
stopped him with saying he was none : adding, that having failed 
in that attempt, he would be nought but what he was. This to be 
sure was practising that useful maxim of making a virtue of necessity. 
Yet it was really a good lesson to Cain, would he have taken it. 
For who finds fault with an exhortation to be contented with one's 
condition, unless upon very reasonable grounds of discontent ? Luci- 
fer moreover, thus excited, could not keep his own secret; "he con- 
quered." His permission to his conqueror to reign, is quite in good 
taste for him. 

From Cain's succeeding question, one should almost suspect he 
had not understood Lucifer to have made an attempt upon his maker 
and his throne; for he now asks him, who it was that he permitted 
thus to reign. To which, on his replying " thy sire's maker and the 
earth's," Cain immediately, and with more propriety than could al- 
most have been expected, adds, what he had learned from his parents, 
and from the songs of seraphs, " and heavens and all that in them is." 
Lucifer's remark upon this addition of Cain's to his own declaration, 
leads to rather important considerations. He observes, that the seraphs 
must sing, and Cain's father must say, what they severally did, on 
pain of being what Lucifer was among spirits, and Cain among men. 



72 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

And let any reasonable and moral being say, if any thing could well 
be worse. We shall now however take permission to examine a 
little into this alleged necessity of the seraph's so singing. " Must" 
is always a hard word. And here it is under a sufficient penalty, it 
must be confessed. 

This " must," then, certainly implies a constraint upon the will, 
the free will of the creature, imposed upon it by the creator. Luci- 
fer means to insinuate, that the seraphs in question are neither more 
nor less than in a state of degrading slavery, or at least painful con- 
straint ; while he (Lucifer) and his rebel companions, are wholly free. 
And whatever is about to be said of seraphs, will of course apply to 
Adam. Now it is to be observed that this " must" is merely asserted 
by Lucifer. But assertion is no proof. And it appears to me that, 
unless the whole be considered as a fable, Lucifer's assertion should 
be shewn to be false. For no one to whom revelation is not a non- 
entity, can be indifferent to the character of the exalted and amiable 
beings in question. But if they be slaves, or if they cannot, on most 
rational grounds, be shewn not to be so, how can they but suffer in 
our estimation ; or the Almighty himself not be an object of abhor- 
rence, instead of due and sublime regard ; and Heaven itself detesta- 
ble, as a place of the basest slavery, instead of most desirable, as the 
very bosom of true liberty ? We will therefore endeavour to see what 
kind of proof Lucifer ought to have adduced in support of his asser- 
tion. Should he not, then, first have proved, that the Supreme Be- 
ing (whom he unquestionably intends as the object of this necessita- 
ted service) was not infinite in goodness, and moral excellence, as 
well as power ? Had he shewn that, to the satisfaction of any rea- 
sonable mind, he had done something, and established something 
like a substratum, on which to raise his superstructure. Because, 
for the seraphs to have sung, in the way of adoration to a being un~ 
worthy of adoration from a defect of goodness, and yet possessing 
power, coercive power, only ; it would certainly have implied com~ 
pulsion and servility in the seraphs. But that foundation Lucifehas 
not laid. Or, had he not done this, but admitted the exalted nature 



WITH NOTES. 73 

of deity ; then, should he not have shewn, either that there ought to 
be only one being in existence ; or else, if more than one, that he 
ought not to be superior to, or excel, the rest in power, or in wisdom, 
any more than in goodness or moral excellence ; but that all ought to 
be equal ; all of them omnipotent, all of them omniscient, all of them 
infinite, in all good and high qualities. But how could any rational 
being have admitted the possibility of that ? That foundation also is 
therefore not laid. Still, if he could not have shewn either of those 
proofs of the degradedness of the seraphs, he should have shewn 
that there ought not to be such a moral quality existing, as love to 
what is superiorly good ; or respect, much less reverence, for what is 
superiorly excellent. But that foundation he has not laid. If he 
could not have thus proved his point, he should have shewn the im- 
possibility of the existence of creatures so constituted, as, in their 
very natures, to admire, love, and adore a being, infinite in wisdom, 
goodness, and moral excellence, with the utmost spontaneity, as the 
most congenial and delightful, natural and voluntary act of their ex- 
istence. Yet, neither is that foundation laid. Had he even failed 
here, and been obliged to admit, that there were such existences as 
last described, then, as his last resort, he might have boldly shewn 
(if he could) that the seraphs in question were not those voluntary and 
spontaneously acting creatures, but of a different and baser nature. 
But this last also he has not done. But, however free and uncon- 
strained the seraphs are in their admiration of infinite goodness and 
excellence, we " must" now submit to the constraint of reason, in 
declaring, that Lucifer's assertion of an ungrateful necessity operat- 
ing upon the seraphs, is as false as he is slanderous. Let Lucifer 
then be thus addressed : 



c The seraphs, in this note, have been considered as acting from 
ihefreeness of their wills, in the common acceptation of the term, and 
in opposition to the servility ascribed to them by Lucifer. How far 
that freeness is consistent with a philosophical and scriptural necessity, will 
be cursorily considered on a future occasion in the course of these notes. 



74 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

" All are not of thy train ; there be, who faith 
Prefer, and piety to God. 
Apostate ! still thou err'st, nor end wilt find 
Of erring, from the path of truth remote ; 
Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name 
Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains 
Or nature : God and nature bid the same, 
When he who rules is worthiest, and excels 
Them whom he governs.- This is servitude, 
To serve the unwise, or him who hath rebelled 
Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee." 

More serious matters however now await our notice in the fol- 
lowing truly Satanic ebullition of daring prophanity ; in which the 
author's correct ideas of the being he was exhibiting, are manifest. 
For upon Cain's asking Lucifer " And what is that ? " that is, what 
it was to be like Lucifer among the spirits, and like Cain among men, 
Lucifer thus replies : 

LUCIFER. 

Souls who dare use their immortality 

Souls who dare look the omnipotent tyrant in 

His everlasting face, and tell him, that 

His evil is not good! If he has made, 

As he saith which I know not, nor believe 

But, if he made us he cannot unmake : 

We are immortal! nay, he'd have us so, 

That he may torture: let him ! He is great 

But, in his greatness, is no happier than 

We in our conflict! Goodness would not make 

Evil,- and what else hath he made? But let him 

Sit on his vast and solitary throne, 



WITH NOTES. 75 

Creating worlds, to make eternity 

Less burtherisome to his immense existence 

And unparticipated solitude ! 

Let him crowd orb on orb : he is alone 

Indefinite, indissoluble tyrant! 

Could he but crush himself, 't were the best boon 

He ever granted: but let him reign on, 

And multiply himself in misery ! 

Spirits and men, at least, we sympathize ; 

And, suffering in concert, make our pangs, 

Innumerable, more endurable, 

By the unbounded sympathy of all 

With all! But He! so wretched in his height, 

So restless in his wretchedness, must still 

Create, and re-create 

Note 14. 

After perusing this speech, the incipient sympathy one could 
hardly help feeling for Lucifer himself, when Cain first introduced 
him by the description of his sadder as well as sterner countenance, 
and of sorrow being half his immortality this sympathy is all dis- 
persed, unless we recognize as our own, his sentiments and princi- 
ples thus expressed, and which we now proceed to examine. The 
author indeed, in this extraordinary and almost horrifying, declama- 
tion, seems to have outgone all other exhibitors of Luciferian auda- 
city and malignity, Milton perhaps not excepted. But Lucifer must 
be met even here. We will endeavour to attend him diligently, step 
by step, in this portentous invective. For although his horrible asser- 
tions, (as in the instance of the seraphs, but still unproved,) may in 
the general be abhorrent to our minds, and in that abhorrence pro- 
vide their antidote ; yet it does seem, that such accusations against 



76 CAIX, A MYSTERY. 

deity, if unfounded, as it is presumed few, if any men, think they 
are not, should not be suffered to escape in silence, or with argument- 
ative impunity ; but should be dragged forth to the blaze and light of 
truth, and confronted with such evidence as shall condemn Lucifer 
and his abettors, if unhappily there be any such besides his own 
Cain, as convicted of the grossest and most slanderous falsehood. 
And is it not grateful to every ingenuous mind to see malice defeated, 
and the fair character defended and illustrated ? And can it be the 
less so because the object is that, which ought to be of the first and 
highest interest in the breast of every intelligent human being ? 

The first feature is his answer to Cain's preceding ques- 
tion, what it is to be like Lucifer and himself; and he describes 
it as of souls who (in the first place) dare use their immortality. 
Now this is rather an imposing expression dare use their im- 
mortality. He plainly makes, common cause with Cain and man- 
kind, very readily associating himself with them, and with Cain 
as their representative ; for he afterwards speaks of " spirits and 
of men we," and so forth. But it seems to me, his chief aim 
is, to excite Cain, and whoever should resemble him in after times, 
to "use their immortality." For it does not appear that angels, 
good or evil, (being all of the same general nature) are said to 
have souls. They are all spirit. At least they are of an entire 
essence, so ethereal, as to know no distinction between soul and 
body, like man. Still, in this stimulating address to man, Luci- 
fer of course includes himself, and his associates, scot and lot with 
them. But as to human souls daring to use their immortality ; 
so long as the soul and body are together, the soul is not in a 
condition to use its immortality ; it must therefore wait until, by 
its separation from the body, it shall have entered upon its im- 
mortal state. And when so entered upon its immortality, the 
soul, dare or not dare, will have no choice. It must be subjected 
to the state it had procured to itself while in the body. It must 
associate with Lucifer in Hell, however involuntarily, when the 
prospect closes upon them ; or voluntarily with the spirits in Ilea- 



WITH NOTES. 77 

ven. But this is not what Lucifer means I confess, though it is 
the fact. The following lines shew in what manner he proposes 
these souls shall use their immortality. And we will now see 
how that is. 

He first says, they are souls who dare look the Omnipotent 
in the face a most tremendous expression, unless he were speak- 
ing of those who were in a state of favour with their maker, as 
Abraham and Moses, with whom God was pleased to converse 
face to face. As to Lucifer's expression " his everlasting face," it 
shall be passed over as merely Luciferian. But the grand feature 
now occurs. He says who dare look the omnipotent " tyrant" 
in his face. Can any one who knows, or reveres his maker, pass 
this lightly over, without confuting Lucifer, and all, if any, who 
join him, in this most horrible ascription to deity ? But we will 
not confute him by declamation like his own, but by reason, truth, 
and common sense. For, with a little accommodation, we may 
adopt his sentiment who said, 

" I (we) hate when vice can bolt (his) arguments, 
And (reason) hath no tongue to check his pride." 

The whole context shews then, that Lucifer, here, intended the 
term *' tyrant," not in the innoxious sense of old time, when it 
was used in good part for a king ; but, in the more modern sense, 
when it is used in bad part, and means, an absolute, imperious 
despot ; an oppressor ; a hard and cruel master. It is also plain, 
that he thus applies this term in bad part to the Supreme Being, 
the creator of Adam, and Eve, and Cain, and of the Seraphs before 
mentioned ; in a word, the God with whom we have to do, the 
maker of the world, and of all mankind. It is then important to 
shew Lucifer's unblushing and daring falsehood in ascribing this 
character to God. And the question is, can his accusation, for 
such it is, be established at the bar of reason, common sense, and 
truth; or is Lucifer to be found, as he has, from the highest au- 



78 CAI^, A MYSTERY, 

thority, been called, not a slanderer only, but a liar, and the father 
of lies. It is (if we may with the utmost reverence be allowed 
the expression) a trial of character. And in such a trial, we 
know that matters of fact, in the shape of conduct and notorious 
actions, weigh incomparably heavier than unproved assertions. 
The judgment, for or against Lucifer, must depend either on the 
evidence he brings to sustain his charge, or on the evidence ad- 
duced to nullify it. As, however we may not be able to find a 
single jot of evidence on the part of Lucifer (for evidence and 
proof are not his allies) to substantiate his accusation, we will be- 
gin with our evidence to falsify it. In similar cases, among men, 
comparison is often resorted to for eliciting the truth. Let us 
therefore, now, begin with comparison. History will furnish us 
readily with examples of tyrants, or tyranny, in the sense before 
us. A Nero, a Caligula, a Tiberius, a Domitian, a Dionysius 
of Syracuse, offer themselves immediately. Do not they furnish 
every feature that Lucifer himself could wish, if he were able to 
identify Jehovah, in point of character, with either of those? 
But to which of them, and in what particular, is the Almighty 
to be likened ? What are the evil features, in all or any of them, 
to which the Almighty is not diametrically opposed ? If then 
they are allowed to be Luciferian tyrants ; and no similarity, but 
perfect unlikeness, be found in Jehovah ; can right reason, or 
common sense, allow the Almighty to be considered as coming 
under that denomination ? But we have shewn, and may have to 
shew further, that the Almighty is, in very fact, diametrically op- 
posed, in character, to the tyrants mentioned. 

Try we however one other test for an opposite comparison to 
the last, also among mortals. These comparisons will be forgiven, 
as we hold ourselves justified, by the motive. This then shall be 
of that emperor whose complaint to his friends was, that he had 
" lost a day," if a day escaped him unmarked by some instance of 
his benignity to his fellow men. Now is this man deemed, by 
the universal voice of human kind, to be the very reverse of a 



WITH NOTES. 79 

tyrant in the sense of Lucifer, before us ? And does the Almighty 
resemble him closely (if such inversion of language may be par- 
doned) in his universal conduct and invariable actions ? If he do, 
and that he does we have seen, and shall, by Lucifer's aid, see 
more ; and if Titus were not only not a Luciferian tyrant, but the 
acknowledged " delight of mankind" then, what becomes of 
Lucifer's assertion? But we must reverse a recent expression 
(the Almighty's resemblance to Titus) by stating, that this same 
Titus, whose goodness left not a day unmarked ; this " delight of 
mankind," whose beneficence was only bounded by his power 
was and is universally allowed to have been, in character, a great 
imitator or resembler of the Divine Being, in his beneficence and 
kindness. But the beneficence of Titus was human, as was his 
power, and therefore limited. He could not do good to all men, 
in all places, under all circumstances, and in every minutest par- 
ticle of time, and without cessation. Much less could he have so 
done before he himself existed ; and still less from the period of 
the existence of man himself; not to insist upon the intention of 
beneficence, in the divine mind, from all eternity. Thus then, 
if comparison, of either kind, be any test of truth, Lucifer's as- 
cription, of evil tyranny to the Almighty, is found to be most 
false and slanderous. 

We will now dismiss comparison, and advert briefly to mat- 
ter of fact, in falsification of Lucifer's most opprobrious charge. 
Does then creation, animal or rational, proclaim the rule of an 
imperious, cruel despot ; a hard or oppressive master ; or that of 
parental care and kindness ? Ask the seasons ; the spring, the 
summer, the autumn, the winter, and then spring again. Ask 
their produce. Ask the feathered singing tribes, the frisking 
flocks, and gamboling herds. Ask the sun, the moon, the stars; 
the rain, the frost, the snow. Ask the whole earth. Enquire of 
the mountains with their springs and minerals ; the verdant and 
fruitful hills ; the fertile and beauteous vallies ; the resplendent 
and enriching streams ; the forests and the groves. Would a 



80 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

" tyrant" have furnished these for the use of man ? Would such 
a being whose gifts are racks, and dungeons, and tortures, have 
thus filled even the inanimate earth as with joy and laughter? 
Then come the moral and social institutions of men ; their dis- 
coveries, their inventions. Who gave them? Then, the ties and 
charities of life, whence do they spring ? Are these the emana- 
tions of a Nero who perpetrates, and delights in making, misery 
among the subjects of his power? Are not, rather, these 

" Thy works ? Parent of good, 
Almighty!" 

and do they not declare, 

" Thy goodness beyond thought ? " 

When, or where, was a " tyrant" ever heard of, whose character 
and acts resembled these ? Since then not one jot of evidence 
has Lucifer brought to sustain his charge, and we have such a 
mass of evidence against it, the result can only be his conviction 
of lying and of slandering? 

Other, and equally unproved assertions we shall now meet 
with, and treat with the care and impartiality they demand. Lu- 
cifer's next assertion is, tha't God's " evil is not good." If it be 
admitted that God's evil is not good, that of course is admitting, 
either that God is an evil being in himself, or that he does evil, 
or both. But neither of these propositions is admitted ; on the 
contrary they are both denied. And if the denial can be sus- 
tained, it will follow that Lucifer is still slanderous against his 
maker. Can we then shew that God is neither evil in himself, 
nor does evil ? But have we not shewn the first from his character, 
and the second from his works ? Who thinks of accusing Titus of 
having been an evil being ? Who thinks so of Alfred, and of 
thousands of other mortals of former and present times ? Those 



WITH NOTES. 81 

Comparisons are faint, because all mortals are of imperfect good- 
ness; but they are illustrative. And what then are the streams 
to the fountain, the shadow to the substance? Then we have 
seen the positive works of the Almighty. And who expects good 
works from an evil being? Is it in the nature of evil to produce 
good? A good being may educe good out of evil; but that is 
another thing ? Who expects light from darkness, or sweet from bit- 
ter, or grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Who looks for good 
fruit from an evil tree ? If God then be good, and goodness, evil 
cannot be God's ; and if there proceed from the divine essence that 
which devils or men call evil, it must, if there be any authority in 
reason, or in the meaning of propositions, or of words, or of common 
sense, be still, and that essentially, and necessarily, good. It can- 
not be otherwise. The only task (nor mat a hard one) would be to 
shew how it is so. But should it be contended, that evil actually 
exists, from some source or other, in creation, physical and moral, 
whence then, or from whom, comes it ? That point may be some- 
what considered hereafter. Meanwhile, it is not here granted, that 
evil does so exist, in the philosophical, and true, which is the 
only right sense. Before that be granted, it must be shewn, mat 
what men term evil is not, in fact, good. God is good, and he 
is omnipotent. Does even any good and powerful mare, intend to 
do evil? If any good man have the power of hindering evil, will he 
even permit it ? But if he permit what some may term or think 
evil, must it not be that he himself thinks it good ? Otherwise, 
would not his pretended goodness be a contradiction ? Then, if 
to his goodness and power he also unite wisdom, is not that the 
crowning security that all he even permits, as well as does, must be 
good ? Is it then possible, in the veiy nature of things, that evil, 
properly speaking, can either spring from, or be suffered to exist by, 
a being of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness ? Under such govern- 
ment there can be no evil, philosophically, and truly. If this argu- 
ment be opposed, it must be by asserting, either that God is evil, or 
powerless, (for no good, and sufficiently powerful, being would suffer 



82 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

evil,) or else, that evil is sometimes necessary and serviceable, or in 
other words, good ; but is not that giving up the point, and conced- 
ing, that under the conduct of such a being as we see and know 
God to be, all must be good ? And does not this reflection create 
most grateful sensations towards the author of all things? And 
does not reason and common sense confirm it ? The existence of evil 
therefore is not to be allowed. 

Yet it should seem, that, without inconsistency, we may, in a 
secondary sense, allow of the existence of evil ; and that without in- 
volving or puzzling the point at all, or unsaying what has been said. 
And it is thus. When we look again at Lucifer's assertion, " his evil 
is not good," we may conceive, that Lucifer meant, not what we have 
been considering, evil in the general ; but, really and honestly that spe- 
cific sense of pain and suffering, which Lucifer's punishment as a 
rebel had produced on him, and which he therefore naturally enough 
and readily called evil, and which, to him, it must be confessed, was 
so ; and that, certainly, did proceed from God. Evil then may, thus, 
I own, proceed from God, in a secondary, or modified sense. But 
then, it is evil of a peculiar nature, and may be termed, good evil. 
So, although Lucifer calls his punishment evil, who else will do so ? 
Who, on the contrary, will not, in reply to him, say, " Nay, Lucifer, but, 
as it respects thee, God's evil is very good?" At least this must be 
allowed, so long as moral government is allowed, and culprits will 
bring on themselves its just visitations. Yet another view of the 
matter may, and perhaps should, be still taken. I have admitted 
this punishment of Lucifer to be God's evil, though a good evil. But 
is it so? Is it not rather Lucifer's own evil? Did he not, in feet, not on- 
ly, in common language, procure it ; but did he not even create it, by, 
if the expression may be allowed^orctwg even benevolence and omni- 
potence itself, to inflict it, from due regard to the rest of his creation, and 
the support of his moral government, essential as that is to the good 
of others ? This then, after all, must be termed Lucifer's own, and 
not his maker's evil. And may not that conclusion be applied to many 
other cases ? 



WITH NOTES. 83 

As to his doubt, or affected doubt, of the Omnipotent having 
made them, (himself and his associates, and perhaps Cain, and mankind, 
he probably meant,) it has little, if any weight. If God be supreme, 
and the first cause of all things, he certainly made him, whether Lucifer 
chose to know, or to believe it, or not. And as to his assertion, that 
if God made them, he could not unmake, for that they were im- 
mortal ; the point is perhaps not material to be metaphysically en- 
quired into, since Lucifer could not deny the divine power to over- 
come, and restrain him, and keep him in as great subjection as God 
saw fit. Yet it seems difficult, even in theory, to deny to omnipotence 
the power of extinguishing, or putting an end to, a subject of its 
own creation. Is it inconsistent with the scripture or with reason 
to suppose, that God may have created beings immortal in a way 
inferior to his own immortality; that is, by enduing them with an 
inherent, limited, capacity of continued existence (not mortal 
like mortal man) until, or unless, God himself should terminate, or 
extinguish it ? Can we admit, that any being subsists, necessarily 
and unavoidably, besides the One, necessarily Self-existent, Being, 
himself? Would not this be to admit rivals to God's essential su- 
periority? Can it be supposed, that any created being can say to 
his maker, " I subsist in despite of thee ? Thou hast conferred that 
upon me which, with all thy omnipotency, thou CANST NOT take 
away from me thy creature ? " To me, I confess this seems very 
hard to digest; especially while, on the other hand I do not see 
that the idea of a subordinate, or limited, immortality, such as 
is here supposed, militates at all against either the dignity, or the 
responsibility, or the happiness of man. He is also not at all 
the less spiritual on that hypothesis. But it seems extremely diffi- 
cult to limit the Almighty, in any thing that does not oppose 
his own nature, (such as his doing wrong; denying himself; 
saying what is not true; and so forth,) or that does not involve 
a contradiction. But is it a contradiction to say, he can destroy 
what he has created ? At the same time, we may have, as in 
fact we have, every evidence from himself, that he will not, does 

G 2 



84 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

not intend to destroy it. This leads to Lucifer's next charge. 
This is, that God would have them immortal, that he may 
torture them. Now this seems to fall in with the ideas above 
thrown out, and looks as if Lucifer himself gave up his own inde- 
pendent immortality. But if man or angel be independently, and 
irrevocably immortal, does not that let in more than one indepen- 
dently existing being ? And can that be allowed ? However, it 
seems to me, that if Lucifer be right in saying the Almighty would 
"have them" immortal, that expression implies choice and power; 
for, generally speaking, we think that if we have the power of 
having a thing one way at our will, we may also have it another, 
even the opposite way. So if God might have them immortal, 
why may he not have them mortal ? But as to God's having them 
immortal, that he may torture them, (expressly of course, Lucifer 
means, for that purpose,) that is merely Lucifer's slander again; for 
the thing is as impossible, as it is for God to do evil. Torturing, 
and punishing justly and necessarily, are not synonymes. The 
latter may consist with perfect goodness ; but the former, in the 
usual bad sense of the word, is the act of cruelty and tyranny. 
And we have seen that God is not cruel; that he is not a Nero. 
Whether Titus ever had occasion to punish or not, I cannot tell ; 
but who would believe of him or of Alfred, that they tortured for 
torturing sake, and kept victims alive for the very purpose ? That 
infinite goodness may see it necessary to preserve the immortality 
of Lucifer, or of any other being, for punitory and moral purposes, 
is quite another matter; and, how serious or awful soever it may 
be, yet not inconsistent with the divine goodness, nor with his in- 
capacity of evil, as before explained. Lucifer's permission to the 
Almighty to punish him is quite in his own stile. His acknow- 
ledgment of God's greatness is correct. But that the Almighty 
should be no happier in his greatness, than Lucifer and his fellow 
rebels are in, what he ostentatiously calls, their "conflict," is irre- 
concilable with common sense. But what "conflict'' can there be 
between a creature capable of instant annihilation, and its creator, 



WITI1 NOTES. 85 

* 

who has the power of annihilating? Besides, Lucifer's "con- 
flict" is over, never to be renewed, if his rebellion can be called 
conflict, which can only be properly so called as between equals in 
some kind or degree or other. But what kind or degree of equal- 
ity was there ever between Lucifer and his creator ? God indeed, 
for his own wise, and righteous, and beneficent purposes, permitted 
him to conflict, as he calls it; and still, for a time, and for the 
same purposes, permits him to be somewhat at large, and to 
boast ; but that is all ; and even that will soon end ; and he will 
then be confined to his own place, under everlasting chains of 
darkness. As to their being happy, at all happy, in their " con- 
flict" therefore, it may easily be imagined what is the happiness 
of a condemned felon, respited indeed, but awaiting his certain 
execution. With respect to his suggestion of God's not being 
happy in his greatness ; that is absurd, if it be admitted that there 
is such a state of being, as happiness. For if there be, (and how 
many will be found to deny it?) it must be the result of goodness, 
wisdom, and power. A deficiency in either of those qualities 
must proportionably impair, as the possession of them must en- 
sure, happiness. But God possesses those attributes in a perfect 
and infinite degree. His happiness therefore is perfect, and infi- 
nitely, that is, inconceivably, great. Nor can he be otherwise 
than so, for his nature makes it as necessary as his own existence. 
I believe too it will be granted, that all beings desire happiness, 
either intellectively, or instinctively. But happiness ; I speak of 
rational, substantial, and real happiness ; mental satisfaction ; aris- 
ing from moral (including religious) considerations ; not the gratifica- 
tion arising from inferior or unworthy sources, such as the senses 
merely ; or the amusement derived from transitory, external, perish- 
ing objects or pursuits ; such happiness can only be proportioned 
to the moral perfection of its subject. Evil beings therefore must 
be void of true happiness in proportion to their defect of goodness. 
And if there be any beings all evil, such beings must be all 
wretched. Lucifer and his companions, and any who may resem- 



86 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ble them, must be those wretched beings therefore although God, 
in the order of his government and providential arrangements, 
has hitherto seen good to allow of the tempering of that wretch- 
edness by the intervention of various external circumstances ; cir-. 
cumstances however, which, in his own fore-appointed time, will 
cease forever; and then, wretchedness, as sure as effects follow 
their causes, wretchedness unmixed, undisguised, unalloyed, must 
be the condition of those, who are not the subjects of mat opposite 
liappiness, which is reserved for all who have made it their decided 
choice. If these things then be so, who would be otherwise than 
happy, if he could ensure it ? But God can ensure it by all his at- 
tributes. He is therefore happy. That misery also, I mean real, 
substantial, mental misery, is no imaginary thing, will not be denied. 
In fact, however erroneous in the pursuit of the one, and in their at- 
tempts to escape the other, still mankind acknowledge misery; 
which should not be forgotten. 

Lucifer then says " goodness would not make evil." Here, 
some way, he has stumbled upon the very truth which some pains 
have been taken to establish. The difference is, that he does not 
allow his maker to be that goodness ; but which we trust it has 
been seen he really is. His question, " What else but evil hath he 
made ? " should have been, " What else hath he not made ? " And 
then we would have joined him. That the world is full of good- 
ness, cannot with any modesty be denied; and we need not weary 
ourselves with finding out its only possible source and author. 

He then, (most appropriately for him,) permits the Almighty to 
sit on, as he terms it, his vast and solitary throne. That God's throne, 
taken figuratively, is vast, there can be no doubt ; for it corresponds 
with his nature. But, for reasons presently to be given, it cannot be 
considered as strictly solitary ; though in one sense, most, if not all 
thrones, even among men, are so, as being occupied by the monarch 
only ; except perhaps among the Roman Emperors, with whom as- 
sociation was common. But to shew, that God's throne is not solitary 
in the common acceptation of the term, requires some proof. 






WITH NOTES. 87 

I am aware that in the foregoing notes, a revelation has been in 
part assumed; and that, because Lord Byron has himself assumed 
one. But, as I propose shewing, as well as I may, that God's throne 
is not solitary, I prefer considering first, the authority of that revela- 
tion, which is to bear me out in ascertaining God's throne to be 
otherwise than strictly solitary. 

Supposing then the Divine Being to be, what , throughout these 
pages, he has been considered, not indeed by Lucifer, but by those 
who " are not of his train ; " is it not highly credible to reason, that 
he should make, to his creature man, some revelation of himself, 
comprizing his nature, his character, his attributes, and even his pro- 
ceedings, to such extent at least, as may be essential to man's happi- 
ness or welfare ? Is it irrational to suppose, that such communica- 
tion should be made by a moral governor to his moral subjects ? Is 
not such communication requisite, where one party is expected to 
conform to the will of the other ? Does not the practice of mankind 
themselves confirm this idea? And we have seen, that in cases of 
intrinsic, moral rectitude, and wisdom, it is allowable to argue from 
man to God. We have indeed, in the foregoing notes, assumed the 
revelation we are now adverting to ; but, for our present purpose, 
it seems proper to look to its reality. We have considered the ex- 
istence of God ; the existence of Lucifer ; and there appears to be 
equal occasion for examining, to some extent at least, into the reality 
of this revelation. 

That such revelation to the human race was, in the earlier ages, 
and amongst the most intelligent of mankind, expected and desired, 
there seem to be historical grounds for believing. This expectation 
may not have been extensive; but its existence shews that the 
idea of such revelation may well consist with enlightened reason. It 
is said, I believe, of Socrates, that he expressed his persuasion, 
that God would, at some period, send a person into the world to 
instruct man more fully in his will, and in the way of obtaining 
pardon for sin. So far, therefore, such a revelation has the sanc- 
tion of ancient consent and tradition, if it can be credibly shewn 



88 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

to have afterwards actually occurred. The Christian revelation then 
is alleged to be the precise communication above supposed to be 
reasonably looked for, and which is just stated to have been actually 
expected and desired by some of the best and wisest of mankind. 
It is not meant to lay much stress upon that, nor does the subject 
need it; but it has a right to its degree of weight. The positive evi- 
dences also, for the reality and truth of this revelation, are such 
as cannot be refused, until all rational and moral certainty, and 
demonstration, arising from moral testimony generally admitted on 
other subjects, be discarded. That evidence will be glanced at pre- 
sently. But it may meanwhile be remarked, that if such revelation 
be so established, the office of reason, after having allowed the cre- 
dibility of the revelation, would be, to acquiesce in its contents ; and, 
in cases of apparent difficulty, to ask, not whether particular facts 
narrated, or truths declared, be or be not exactly correspondent to the 
usual and received notions of man, and therefore whether or not likely, 
or credible : but, whether such particular facts or truths be so reveal- 
ed and taught. This may be applied to many cases arising in the pe- 
rusal of this revelation. 

We may now consider, though cursorily, the general grounds 
of the credibility of the revelation itself, or of the documents which 
contain it. There are various kinds of proof. Some arise from the 
internal evidence of its fitness to the character, condition, and wants 
of men ; and the superiority of its morals to any anterior system of 
morals that had appeared in the world, recommending themselves as 
they do, intuitively it may be said, to man's spiritual, moral, and 
higher nature. And with respect to the wants of man in particular, 
the fitness of this revelation arises from its disclosure of a source, 
whence those wants may be abundantly supplied, whether relating to 
his mortal, or immortal, character. This argument I own will have no 
weight with those who think it rational to deny a spiritual or immortal 
nature to man, and to confine his being to a merely animal existence. 
These can have no idea of the wants of the human soul. They dif- 
fer, it is true, not only from those who receive this revelation in the 



WITH NOTES. 89 

view here briefly given of it, but also from Plato, and Socrates, and 
Cicero, who knew not of it. They could only desire it. 

Other evidences of the authenticity of the Christian revelation 
arise from external sources : such as its extensive reception among 
those of mankind, in every point of view most competent to judge of its 
truth, or detect its fallacy, whichever should prevail in their judgments. 
Nor is this reception confined to the higher classes of intellectual cha- 
racter. It has prevailed also among such multitudes of the middle 
and lower ranks of mankind, usually distinguished by plain good 
sense and integrity, and independency of mind, that, to allow no au- 
thority to such a combination of moral evidence, seems altogether 
subversive of all rational certainty, or moral evidence whatever : the 
inconveniences of which, and the irrationality of contemning such 
evidence, has been briefly considered. 

The incessant and unsuccessful attempts which, for eighteen cen- 
turies, have been made to destroy the credit of this revelation, form 
another external proof of its authenticity. It has been assailed by 
all the powers of the human mind, and all the malice of the human 
heart. Devils and men have conspired against it in every form. 
Were it not for its intrinsic worth, and its conformity to the prevailing 
sense of mankind, it never could have out-rode the storms it has 
encountered. It is true, those who receive it believe, that it has been 
so sustained by its almighty author ; but, notwithstanding that con- 
viction, and the accompanving conviction of its continued and final 
triumph ; they do not shrink from every collateral and rational proof 
of its excellence and truth; and that, in some measure, from regard to 
the prejudices, as well as best interests, of others. To this source of 
evidence may be added the corresponding one of the personal sacri- 
fices and sufferings, which have been made and undergone, by every 
class of mankind, male and female, old and young, strong and weak, 
wise and simple, high and low, rich and poor : such an accumulation 
of testimony as the world never saw on any other subject, and which 
nothing can account for but its divine origin, and its influential 
authority and power over the mind of man. Other religious and 



90 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

philosophic systems have vanished before it, as the shades of night 
fly from the orb of day. This alone remains ; and while all other 
systems have been, by the investigations of reason, found delusive, 
and false, and pernicious; this alone has been ascertained to be 
founded on a basis, which reason, instead of condemning, justifies 
and approves. Of those, comparatively few, individuals, who 
have still opposed and rejected it, it may safely be said, they have 
been " weighed in the balance and found wanting." This too seems 
to be a subject, among others, in which an argument from num- 
bers, when intellect and integrity are not wanting, ought in all reason, 
it is presumed, to be influential in inducing our attention and regard, 
at least. That Christianity has been, or is, grossly abused or mis- 
applied, forms not, nor can, rationally, form any objection to it. 
Rather, it is a confirmatory circumstance in its favour. For such 
abuse and misapplication, and all the evils which its enemies ascribe 
to it, are even anticipated in its own records, long before it had 
obtained any footing in the world. Nor can any other incongruities 
or discrepancies, which are sometimes observed among men who 
profess to be its advocates, be justly chargeable on itself. Its benefits 
are general. If one abuse it, there is no reason another should. Its 
own testimony and its character should be resorted to in such cases. 
With respect to objections made to this revelation, as a revelation, on 
account of some alleged difficulties attending some parts of it ; they 
are certainly of no more account as to its general excellence, than 
the spots which are said to be on the sun, are to its general splendour 
and its universal influence. Besides, it is not impossible that it 
was intended there should be some such apparent difficulties. It 
is given to man as an intellectual and moral agent. In his intel- 
lectual capacity he satisfies himself of its certainty ; in his moral 
capacity he then perceives it requires a certain submission of his 
own reasoning powers, which his very reason teaches him the ra- 
tionality of yielding. It is not however meant to be denied, that 
this revelation teaches man to expect other aid, than his reason alone, 
in judging of it ; yet not an aid that supersedes its proper use. 



WITH NOTES. 91 

The difficulties also, just alluded to, are not of a nature to affect its 
general credibility, or right to reception. And it is thrown open to 
all, to use and enjoy. 

There are other evidences of the authenticity of this revelation, 
internal and external, at which I have not glanced ; such for in- 
stance, as the standing one of the Jewish people at this day. No- 
thing, but the over-ruling power of God, can account for their pre- 
servation, or for their invincible attachment to the Old Testament, 
which they thus (however unwittingly or unwillingly) confirm ; but 
which must stand or fall with the New ; the one being indisputably 
connected with, and dependent on, the other. The moral evidence 
which exists, that the different parts of each Testament must have 
been written, generally speaking, by the persons whose names they 
bear ; and that those persons had neither the will, nor the power, to 
deceive, forms another proof. Nor can it be believed, if the being 
and providence of God himself be not rejected, that the Almighty 
would have suffered such a persuasion, if erroneous, to have taken 
hold of the mind of man as it has evidently done ; the only instance 
of the kind. Besides, its precepts and instructions are every way 
favourable to man's best interests. And that this revelation deve- 
lopes the inmost recesses of the human mind and heart, as never 
was done before, is also undeniable. 

The foregoing is acknowledged to be only such a sketch of 
the authenticity of the Christian revelation, as may justify a few 
extracts from it, in aid of die preceding; and some following 
remarks, on the solitariness of God's throne, as alleged by Lucifer. 

First then, the revelation we have been considering, informs us, 
that so far is the eternal throne from being solitary, in the literal or 
commonly received sense, that, although the Divine Being is, em- 
phatically, " One," yet he is so, and in such a manner, and so pecu- 
liar to himself and his own nature, as even to amount to the reverse 
of solitary as implying the exclusion of all social, satisfactory, or 
grateful intercourse. I am aware it has been said of some superior 
individuals among mankind, and by one perhaps in particular, of 



92 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

himself, that he was " never less alone than when alone." Also of the 
Divine Being it has been truly srjd, that he must be perfectly happy 
in the contemplation of his own infinite perfections. But scripture, 
or the revelation we have been considering, informs us, that God sub- 
sists, in his very nature and essence, in the three-fold, yet united, 
character or mode, of Father, Son, and Spirit; one, undivided, 
Jehovah. Does not man know, that he has a body, and a mind, 
a soul, and a spirit ? They are one man, united, yet distinct ; each 
has its several office ; but all together constitute one individual. But 
can he explain the manner, exactly, of this intimate connexion be- 
tween the several constituents of his own being, though he knows 
the fact ? It is acknowledged, that the comparison is imperfect, 
but it may serve for illustration, or at least for proof so far as it goes, 
and to shew, that if man cannot comprehend himself, it is not likely 
he should comprehend his creator. " Who can find out the Almighty 
to perfection ? " is one of the communications made by scripture. 
If man could do so ; or could, beyond what his maker has informed 
him ; man would be God, and not man. And does not reason itself 
intimate to us, that it is to be expected, that the Divine Being must 
subsist in a manner, different from all other beings ? But the truth 
seems to be, that the Almighty has, in this revelation, communicated 
much concerning himself, which, from the whole tenor of the New 
Testament especially, it much imported man to know. The scrip- 
tures, then, speak largely of the acts of the Spirit of God, and of 
his positive operations; and those, such acts and operations, it may 
be ventured to be said, as much denoting individuality and person- 
ality, as any of the acts, ascribed to Satan, prove the reality, and 
actual personality, of his existence. Upon the same species of scrip- 
tural evidence therefore, that I believe Satan, or Lucifer, to be a. per- 
son, I believe the Spirit of God to be properly a person. I believe 
the fact therefore upon evidence, though I cannot, nor expect that any 
created being, man or angel, ever will be able, to explain it. It 
is not likely they should. To ascribe the actual personal operations 
of the Holy Spirit to the mere breathing or influence of God, seems 



WITH NOTES. 93 

most absurd; for why, if the Spirit be not God, should divine 
acts be ascribed to the mere breathing or influence of deity ? Why 
should it not have been said that God did so and so, instead of his 
Spirit having done it ? By seeking to avoid one difficulty therefore 
(so averse are we, not to understand things infinitely above us} how 
many absurdities do we not run into ? It does appear, that if the 
Spirit be not a divine person, even God, equal to the Father, most 
egregious deception is practised upon man, and upon his rational 
perceptions, throughout the scriptures. Why should the Spirit be 
said to perform things which a substance, a person, only can? And 
which it were absurd to ascribe to a mere breathing or influence. 
It is said " the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me." Now 
here is a personal act of sending, ascribed to the Spirit. Suppose 
we read, " the Lord God and his breathing or influence hath sent 
me." Can that be received ? It is also written "on whom thou 
shalt see the Spirit descending." But who could see a breathing 
or influence descending ? To descend, is the act of a real being. Be- 
sides, in that case the Spirit was pleased to assume the appearance 
of a dove. But can we admit, that a mere breathing or influence 
would or could assume a bodily shape ? Again, the Spirit suffered 
not Paul to go into Bythynia. Is not hindering a personal act? 
If it had been a breathing, or influence, merely, of divinity, why 
had it not been, God suffered not? But to cite, were endless, 
to the same purpose. The fact is, it appears that the Divine 
Being is (economical in his nature ; and that he acts, towards man, 
especially, in an harmonious, orderly, and distributive manner, accord- 
ing to the various purposes of his government. And what possible 
objection can man rationally have to that? Multitudes, of the first 
classes of human intellect, have received it. The Spirit, then, is 
God ; distinct in person from, yet one with, the Father. It is re- 
markable too, that the same persons who would reduce Lucifer to a 
metaphysical principle, would also reduce God, in the person of the 
Spirit, to a mere breathing or influence. In this respect then, and 
so far, the throne of God is not solitary. 



94 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

I have perhaps been led imperceptibly to speak of the Spirit 
before the Son. But a few words respecting that divine person in 
the deity also, will serve additionally to confute the allegation of 
the solitariness of God's throne. For although the Father, the Son, 
and the Spirit are one God ; yet we cannot avoid the apprehension 
of a property in the divine essence, quite the opposite of solitariness, 
even in the throne of God. Of the proper divinity of the Son, in- 
deed, and his equality and oneness with the Father, I have not now 
so much to do, as with the fact of the intimate communion subsist- 
ing between the Father and the Son. Yet of the oneness of the 
Father and the Son ; and that Jesus Christ was as truly God, as he 
was truly man ; there is, to my mind, such unequivocal and perpe- 
tual evidence in the New Testament ; and such a multiplicity of 
acts ascribed to Jehovah ; and so many instances of the divine cha- 
racter, name, and nature also stated in the Old Testament, as belong- 
to God only ; but all which are demonstrably referable to, and iden- 
tified with Christ the Son the Messiah ; that it seems asto- 
nishing, how we can come to any other conclusion, than that the Son 
is Jehovah, as certainly as die Father is Jehovah. In reference 
however to the alleged solitariness of God's throne, it is therefore 
said of the Son, (personified by wisdom, or the word,} " the Lord 
possessed me before his works of old : I was set up from everlasting : 
I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." Thus was 
the divine nature, in the person of the Son, associated with,and rejoic- 
ing in the presence of, the Father. That we cannot comprehend 
the mode, does not invalidate the fact revealed. Again "I will 
declare the decree thou art my Son sit thou on my right hand 
until I make thine enemies thy footstool." " Glorify me, O Fa- 
ther, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was ; " 
which evidently means, from all eternity. But it does on the whole 
appear to me from multitudes of other passages, and the whole 
harmony and scope of scripture, that Christ is essentially Jehovah, 
in the person of the Son, for economical purposes ; and that the 
Holy Spirit is essentially Jehovah, in the person of the Spirit, for 



AVITII NOTES. 95 

other ceconomical purposes ; and, that the Father, Jehovah also, 
sustains that character, or person, in like manner. On these grounds 
it is, that I contend, that God's throne is not, nor ever was, pro- 
perly, " solitary," though Jehovah is " One God : " but that there 
ever was an ineffable communion between the divine persons ; three, 
yet One. 

With respect to God's creating worlds, as Lucifer suggests, to 
make eternity less burthensome to his immense existence, that is as 
absurd an idea as can well be imagined. For who can conceive 
of eternity being burthensome to an omnipotent and eternal being ? 
Is not eternity, if we may be allowed the expression, God's very 
element 1 And what can be burthensome to omnipotence ? The 
divine existence, indeed, Lucifer truly calls immense ; and that it 
is so, is most consolatory to all intelligent beings who do not rebel 
against him. This they have no cause to do. 

With respect to what Lucifer calls God's " unparticipated 
solitude," as the scriptures do not state with certainty the period 
when angels were created ; so neither can any mortal therefore 
conclude with certainty on that point; though, having, I think, 
seen that God's throne never has been strictly solitary, but (so to 
speak,) the seat of eternal counsels between Father, Son, and Spirit, 
yet one Jehovah it does seem to me reasonable to suppose, 
(revelation not contradicting it,) that there were, ever, some sub- 
jects of those eternal counsels ; as well as, in particular, some high 
created intelligences, capable of perceiving and enjoying the divine 
goodness, in his more immediate presence. All this is certainly 
beyond mortal ken, seeing that revelation is silent on it, as not 
material to man yet to know. But, at any rate, we know from reve- 
lation, that since man's creation (how long before we cannot tell) 
the reverse of solitude is ascribed to Go J ; for that multitudes, beyond 
number, have continually rejoiced before him. From that consider- 
ation, and from the beneficent and communicative nature of the 
Divine Being, one should, so far as revelation does not contradict, 
(and here it does not ; for, to say the least, it leaves every one at 



96 CAIX, A MYSTERY, 

liberty to think and judge) be led to believe it highly, if not most, 
probable, that God, not only had planned from eternity his work 
concerning man, but had other and superior creatures, to behold 
his glory and enjoy his goodness. But this it is confessed is only 
inferential reasoning from our present knowledge of the divine 
beneficence, which makes us prone to doubt of God's ever having 
dwelt in absolute external solitude, any more than on a solitary 
throne. But whether these notions have any weight or not; or 
whether the Almighty, at an earlier, or later period of his own 
eternity, first created other beings, does not militate against, or 
at all affect, the absolute and unlimited goodness of his nature ; or 
his rectitude, or his wisdom. 

Lucifer's next description of deity we agree in ; that he alone 
is "indefinite" (great beyond comprehension) and "indissoluble;" 
and well for man that he is so. But when he adds to that, the term 
" tyrant" again, we recollect he is already convicted of gross slan- 
der and falsehood on that score. He says, that could the Almighty 
crush himself, it would be the best boon he ever granted. The idle- 
ness of the metaphysical supposition of the possibility of the Al- 
mighty's crushing himself, merits no reply. But were it possible, 
and to take effect ; instead of being a boon, it would be the greatest 
calamity to all creation, unless to Lucifer and his crew. The Al- 
mighty will certainly " reign on," of course, without Lucifer's per- 
mission, but not " multiply himself in misery," which is impossi- 
ble, without question, even to the Almighty. Misery belongs only 
to evil ; of which, as no particle subsists in God, so neither can 
any particle of misery. The only way in which the Almighty 
could multiply himself in misery would be, first to desire, and 
choose, and decree it in himself, which is not to be expected. 

Is Lucifer, or is he not, a desirable friend ? Another question 
is, do men. or do they not, in every class of life ; not, of course, 
all men of every class, but yet some men of all classes, as is perhaps 
to be feared ; though probably always unintentionally, yet really no 
less certainly, cultivate Lucifer's regard ; such regard, I mean, as is 



WITH NOTES. 97 

proper to Lucifer ? It appears to me to be not an idle enquiry ; and 
I do think, that man is not unindebted to Lord Byron for putting 
them on adverting to this very subject. Lucifer himself, at any rate, 
whatever men may do, speaks of his and their mutual sympathy. 
No trifling circumstance if true. It involves occasion for the deepest 
consideration to some, doubtless, if not to all. At the time of his 
thus asserting, that, at least, spirits and men, they sympathized, (a 
very flattering assumption for man, truly !) meaning of course by spirits, 
himself and his rebel associates, Cain was the only mortal that then 
came within his declaration. But of Cain the fact cannot be denied, 
even from what we have seen, but especially from what we shall see 
hereafter. Lucifer, without doubt, spoke prospectively ; whether this 
congratulatory reflection of Lucifer ever were really made or not, its 
importance, as a hint to man, is the same. Some similar useful hints 
will escape from him also hereafter, which will be noticed. What 
his sympathy for man is (and I think he spoke the truth) we can be 
at no loss to imagine. I have no doubt that he actually does feel the 
same kind, and at least no less degree of it, towards man, as we un- 
derstand the shark does when hovering round, or scenting human prey 
at a distance. Human souls are, without any doubt, equally an object 
of Lucifer's most intent and unremitting regard, and it may be safely 
affirmed, so long as the revelation we have considered remains unover- 
thrown, that men sympathize also more with this fascinating tempter 
than many, if any, are aware of. Scripture confirms that assertion 
at any rate. It behoves us then to look to ourselves. I do not mean 
that mankind do so literally ; as if they felt regard for Lucifer, though 
I am not quite sure some have not done, or yet do not, even that ; 
but I mean what amounts to the same thing. For if men would 
carefully examine themselves, in reference especially to their creator, 
they would find, they had more of it, at least, more community 
of feeling and sentiment with Lucifer, than they suspect. But I 
must not further anticipate what is to come. Now, as to Lucifer's 
philosophical, or metaphysical, or social idea, that suffering in con- 



98 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

cert makes pangs more endurable by the unbounded sympathy of all, 
I hardly know how exactly to concur in that sentiment, however 
pleasing and satisfactory it may be to parties concerned, or encourag- 
ing to any to try the experiment. For experiment is in many cases the 
surest though sometimes dreadfully hazardous, test of truth. Sympa- 
thy in enjoyment I have heard of, and sympathy in sorrow too, and 
that the one is improved, and the other soothed by it. But as to the 
practical and absolute good effects of sympathy, amongst convicted and 
hardened murderers for instance, awaiting their execution, and their 
consciences also leaving them no rest, I very much doubt of any 
material or beneficial effects of sympathy in such cases : the very case 
of Lucifer, except that he had added treason and rebellion to murder ; 
and we are told, from the authority we have considered, that he is a 
murderer, and was so from the beginning. How far therefore the 
pangs of conscience, and torment in Hell (for thither we must trans- 
port ourselves in thought, to get any good from Lord Byron's and 
Lucifer's hint) can be so mitigated by this same unbounded sympa- 
thy, I own I do not see ; nor wish, for my own part, to prove. To 
say the least, is it not immensely desirable to keep clear of the occa- 
sion for this alleged sympathetic anodyne for pangs innumerable, as 
we must suppose they are which are experienced in a future and irre- 
mediable state of mental misery ? The possibility of the thing can- 
not be doubted. Too many of us are too careless on the subject. It 
should be the first thing with us, and we too frequently make it the 
test, if we give it any place at all. With respect to his finale in this 
piece, respecting the Almighty's imagined restless wretchedness in his 
height, Lucifer, as the best way of venting his exacerbated enmity, 
transferred his own sensations and condition to his maker, which was 
eminently appropriate for him to do. He seems to have been going to 
say something (but choked probably with rage and malice) about 
the Almighty's creating and re-creating, of necessity, to keep the divine 
conscience at ease ; but as he stopped short, so shall we : only observ- 
ing, that if God do create and re-create, we know it can only be for 



WITH NOTES. 99 

good, and not for evil. Nothing, really evil, can proceed from per- 
fect goodness, infinite wisdom, and unbounded power. Having thus 
considered this speech of Lucifer's, we now attend to Cain's sympa- 
thetic reply. 

CAIN. 

Thou speak'st to me of things which long have swum 
In visions through my thought ; I never could 
Reconcile what I saw with what I heard. 
My father and my mother talk to me 
Of serpents, and of fruits and trees : I see 
The gates of what they call their Paradise 
Guarded by fiery-sworded cherubim, 
Which shut them out, and me : I feel the weight 
Of daily toil, and constant thought: I look 
Around a world where I seem nothing, with 
Thoughts which arise within me, as if they 
Could master all things : but I thought alone 
This misery was mine. My father is 
Tamed down ; my mother has forgot the mind 
Which made her thirst for knowledge at the risk 
Of an eternal curse ; my brother is 
A watching shepherd boy, who offers up 
The firstlings of the flock to him who bids 
The earth yield nothing to us without sweat : 
My sister Zillah sings an earlier hymn 
Than the birds' matins ; and my Adah, my 
Own and beloved, she too understands not 
The mind which overwhelms me: never till 
Now met I aught to sympathize with me. 
'T is well 1 rather would consort with spirits. 

ii 2 



100 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



Note 15. 

Cain in this soliloquizing kind of reply to Lucifer's soliloquizing 
kind of oration, recognizes, in Lucifer's, many things, which long 
had swum in visions through his thought. But it seems to have 
been such thought as Cain would have been wiser and happier without. 
But are wisdom and happiness desirable tilings ? To some, and to 
Cain, among them, one should almost think not. Thought some- 
what resembles knowledge, of which we have seen, that knowledge, 
abstractedly, as the snake truly said, is good ; but that there may be, 
and doubtless are, some species of knowledge, of which we cannot 
but predicate, that such knowledge is evil : like the knowledge of the 
effects of the forbidden fruit. Nor does it alter the fact, that God, in 
his unceasing mercy, 

" Out of evil still educes good." 

Evil, I mean, if such a thing can, philosophically, be admitted, not 
God's but man's, or that of Lucifer, his sympathizing confederate. 
Now it has been said, that there is such a thing as thinking to no 
purpose ; and also, that the thoughts of some men are no better than 
waking dreams. And I must confess that Cain's cogitations seem 
to be much of that stamp. Yet, unprofitable as they may be to him- 
self, yet, as out of poison, I think it has been said, honey may be 
extracted ; so, moral good, out of Cain's moral evil. 

He says then, first, he never could reconcile what he saw with 
what he heard. What did he see ? He could see nothing wherein 
the goodness of God was not manifestly and exuberantly displayed. 
Even in these regions, where Eurus, and Boreas, and Notus, and 
Auster, so often conflict, and set the elements in uproar; yet, even 
in these comparatively hostile climes, how are our grateful feelings 
excited by the divine bounty and care, so perpetually forcing itself 
upon our notice ! And in the situation of Cain's residence it is known, 
that nature is more beauteous and more bounteous still. This then 



WITH NOTES. 101 

was what Cain could not but see, if he saw aught ; or if indeed his 
sight were not jaundiced by his strange and unapprovable discontent. 
And what can we suppose he heard, which he could not recon- 
cile with what he saw ? He heard, as he says, sometimes, the songs 
of seraphs. If so, I venture to say, their songs could not but be, in 
themselves, perfectly in tune with, and therefore reconcileable to, 
what Cain saw around him. He also heard what his father, and 
mother, and brother, and sisters said. And that, as we have seen, 
was, and we believe always was, in perfect conformity to the seraphs' 
songs : the burthen of which was probably, in effect, " Glory to God 
in the highest ; on earth peace ; good will towards men." Now these 
things, seen and heard, I cannot but think were perfectly and grate- 
fully reconcileable to Adam, and to Eve, to Abel, to Adah, and to 
Zillah ; for their addresses to God, as before related, bespeak as much; 
then why not equally reconcileable to Cain ? However, so, it seems 
it was not. Our business is, to consider, whether Cain was right or 
wrong, or neither one nor the other ; for that there is no importance 
at all in the state of our minds or our feelings towards our maker. 
But if we are induced to conclude him most seriously wrong ; men, 
we should examine, and look to ourselves. He observes, that his 
father and his mother talk to him of serpents, and of fruits, and trees. 
That they should have related to him what they knew, and which it 
imported their children to know, of die " snake," and of the tree of 
the knowledge of good and evil, and of the forbidden fruit of that tree, 
it is most natural to suppose. It was their obvious parental duty so 
to do, and they do not appear to have been wanting in parental care 
or feeling. But as to their talking in any other way of serpents, and 
of fruits, and trees, it is not likely. But that, doubtless, was what Cain, 
in his way of speaking, meant : rather a distorted, and not very respect- 
ful way, towards his well-meaning father and mother, I confess, in 
my own opinion. The next object of his thought seems to have been, 
the exclusion of his father and mother, and himself (of course inclu- 
ding his brother and his sisters, though the measure of the verse did 
not admit of his naming them) from what he says they called their 



102 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Paradise; the gates which shut them out, being guarded by fiery- 
svvorded cherubim. Now if Cain saw this, as he says he did, it 
seems to me to have been obviously and easily reconcileable with what 
he heard from his parents. But I must question if Adam and Eve 
were not better instructed than, in the conversations with their children, 
to call Paradise any longer theirs, after they knew that their maker 
(against whom they do not appear to have been affected with feelings 
like their son's) had taken it from them. Nor do I suppose that Adam 
conceived that he had that indefeisible or " just inheritance" in Eden's 
gardens, which we have seen Cain lay claim to. We have also seen 
that there was, upon the whole, little, or rather not any, cause of com- 
plaint for this exclusion from the tree of life, but much otherwise : 
especially considering the mitigation which Adam experienced of the 
curse upon the ground, while his toil was not heavy, and the young 
earth yielded kindly with little labour. Nor did Adam complain. 
Cain however does complain of the weight he felt of daily toil and 
constant thought : but of that toil and thought enough has been said. 
Had his thought been of matters, or on subjects, calculated to give 
honour to his maker, [the first concern of man ; for God says " him 
that honoureth me I will honour ; and, he that despiseth me shall be 
lightly esteemed,''] or advantage to himself, or benefit to others, he 
would not have felt their weight, at least not unsatisfactorily. For 
such thought, though sometimes it must create weariness of spirits, 
yet finds its own reward, and the spirits revive again. Cain then 
looks around him on a world where he seems nothing. That was at 
once a right and a wrong feeling. There was one who addressed his 
maker after this manner; " when I consider the heavens, the work 
of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained ; what 
is man, that thou art mindful of him ?" Also, compared with God 
himself, man is still more a nonentity, apart from the divine purpose 
and goodness. If then those were the views Cain took of the subject, 
he was right in seeming to himself to be nothing in the world. But 
in other respects he was wrong in that feeling. For considering man 
as an immortal, moral, and responsible being, he is much in the world : 



WITH NOTES. 103 

inasmuch as his station and state in this world is connected with eter- 
nity. And in eternity, man assuredly will not, cannot be nothing. 
He will be of unspeakable importance there, to himself, whatever he 
may be here. That is not sufficiently reflected upon. Also, consi- 
dering him as the object of so much of the divine goodness which he 
enjoys above the rest of the creation, man is much in the world. Is 
it nothing to be a daily and hourly recipient of divine mercy ? It has 
been said " man, know thyself." It has also been said " man, 
respect thyself." Is it not for a want of true self-respect, that we 
pursue such courses of conduct often, as lead to worse, much worse, 
than nothingness, here and hereafter ? He is also something at any 
rate, whether greater or less, and by no means nothing, if he employs, 
as he can, those talents which his maker has endued him with for the 
common good of his fellow creatures. For man is, or ought to be, 
social ; at least so far as to be concerned for the common good, and 
most of all for the highest and most important good, of his fellow 
men. These considerations however are not meant to imply, that 
Cain should have thought more highly of himself than he ought to 
think ; only, that he should not have thought himself nothing, in those 
respects which are last glanced at. What those thoughts were, 
which Cain says arose within him, and made him fancy he could 
master all things, I cannot divine, because I never knew or heard of 
any mortal before who professed any tiling like it, unless it might be 
the "admirable Crichton," of, I think, the 14th or 15th century, or 
a little later. He perhaps went as near such an opinion of his own 
powers as any ever did. But he does seem to have been an admir- 
able man certainly. And Cain thought all this misery was confined to 
himself (and so it was as respected mortals, for all his family were ex- 
empt from it, being contented and happy in, and grateful for, their ma- 
ker's goodness) until he so (happily shall I say, or fatally ?) met with a 
sympathizing fellow sufferer in the great, the mighty, the everlasting 
" Master of Spirits." He then gives his reasons for having thought 
that his miseiy was his alone. And they are these. His father, he 
says, is tamed down. How rampant Adam had been does not ap- 



104 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

pear. From what we have seen however in the preceding pages, I 
should not have conceived the Almighty (if I may presume so to 
speak) had had much trouble or difficultly in reducing him from any 
beast-like violence of conduct. Nor should I have suspected even 
Adam's spirit to have been any thing like so stubborn as his son's, 
if stubborn at all. His mother too, he says, had forgot the mind 
which made her thirst for knowledge at the risk of an eternal curse. 
What the peculiar knowledge was which Eve thirsted for, we have 
seen ; and it appears to have been of the most deleterious and deathly 
kind. Happy then for Eve, if, through the pardoning mercy of her 
God, she had in reality forgot the mind which made her thirst for 
such knowledge. And who could wish for the revival of such a 
mind ? But although Eve certainly transgressed in the very teeth of 
the penal death which was denounced, yet it is much too harshly and 
incorrectly expressed by Cain, to say, that death amounted to an 
eternal curse. For God did not say so. And it is apparent from his 
first promise, and his subsequent fuller revelation, that so far was the 
death threatened from being an eternal curse ; that, to as many as 
embrace that promise and that subsequent revelation, that very death 
is made the passage to an infinitely better and eternal life and bless- 
edness. This view of things (and it appears a scriptural one) seems to 
draw the sting of death, completely, and from an enemy to become 
man's friend. But this does not countenance evil, or immorality, or 
contempt of God, or a rejection of the medium through which that 
better life is to be attained. Of that medium occasion will be given 
for a little observation hereafter. Cain's description of his brother as 
a watching shepherd boy, is perhaps spoken in simplicity ; not con- 
temptuously. With respect to Abel's offering up the firstlings of his 
flock, more may be said afterwards in its place. But although the 
Almighty had certainly declared, that in the " sweat of his face" 
Adam should eat bread ; and although, generally speaking, I believe 
bread cannot be obtained without more or less of human labour, yet 
it was most ungracious of Cain to say that God bid the earth yield 
them nothing without sweat : for I believe in those climates, it yields 



WITH NOTES. 105 

much. At any rate let Adam witness "toil, not heavy, though 
needful ;" and as observed before, what sort of characters are they 
who complain of that ? But also, is it different with the body and 
the mind ? Does the sanguine experimental chymist, when he tor- 
tures nature, complain of his sudatory, the laboratory ? Or the New- 
tons of their laborious studies ? For even Newton attributed more 
to his labour than to his genius. His description of Zillah makes 
some atonement ; to whom he assigns a grateful and lark-like dis- 
position to the adoration of her maker. But as for his own peculiar 
Adah, she was, it seems so much vitiated, or stultified by the infect- 
ing piety of her father, and mother, and brother, and sister, as to be 
incapable of understanding the mind which over-whelmed himself. 
And who, amongst mortals, will he find to do so ? Having now 
however at last met with one to sympathize with him, he prefers to 
consort with spirits. This seems to please Lucifer prodigiously, as 
we shall next see. 

LUCIFER. 

And hadst thou not been fit by thine own soul 
For such companionship, I would not now 
Have stood before tbee as I am : a serpent 
Had been enough to charm ye, as before. 

CAIN. 
Ah! didst thou tempt my mother"? 

LUCIFER. 

I tempt none, 

Save with the truth : was not the tree, the tree 
Of knowledge? And was not the tree of life 
Still fruitful'? Did / bid her pluck them not ? 



106 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Did / plant things prohibited within 

The reach of beings innocent, and curious 

By their own innocence ? I would have made ye 

Gods ; and even He, who thrust ye forth, so thrust ye 

Because " ye should not eat the fruits of life, 

And become gods as we." Were those his words? 

CAIN. 

They were, as I have heard from those who heard them, 
In thunder. 

Note 16. 

Lucifer, like all destroyers, begins this part of the dialogue 
with flattery ; that is, if any being, pretending to rationality and 
immortality, besides Cain, will deem himself flattered by com- 
panionship with this " Master of Spirits." Of those who disclaim 
a soul, or an immortal spirit, we say nothing. They are few, and 
must stand or fall by their own election, when the unbarring of the 
the gates of death shall have let them into the then appalling secret. 
Yet how can they account for the impressions of immortality, if an 
imposture, throughout mankind ? Why thus ; " I believe in nothing 
which is not the subject of my senses." What then becomes of evi- 
dence? 

Here however, Lucifer discloses a circumstance which apparently 
confirms the idea that it had been, though perhaps obscurely, revealed 
to Adam that a hostile spirit inhabited the serpent. And this revela- 
tion was probably made in the promise that the woman's seed should 
bruise his head. For Lucifer's expression, " I would not now have 
stood before thee as I am," implies his habit, or his power at any rate, 
of assuming other forms ; while his allusion to the fascination of Eve 
by the serpent, connected with the other, and thus forming a whole, 
proves that it was he, who in the serpent, had " charmed" Eve, and 



WITH NOTES. 107 

through her, Adam, and in effect, as lie pretended, the whole family. 
This evidently was Cain's impression, and seems to have been that of 
Lord Byron. As for Cain, he was even greatly excited. "Ah ! didst 
tliou tempt my mother ? " This home-thrust, Lucifer parried off as 
well as he could, seemingly afraid to venture upon a flat denial. Yet 
the way in which he does it is such, as to shew that he was not alto- 
gether unwilling to be thought to have been the tempter of Eve. For, 
says he " I tempt none, save with the truth. He then proceeds to 
prove that Eve was tempted with the truth, whoever tempted her; " 
" was not the tree the tree of knowledge ? " We have seen in what 
respect it was so. And he asks, if the tree of life was not yet fruit- 
ful; implying, that as he had promised Eve they should not die, so 
neither would they have died, had they forthwith plucked the tree of 
life, which continued fruitful, notwithstanding their eating of the for- 
bidden fruit. Thus he proved his tempting none but with the truth. 
But what murderer may not say the same, when he decoys another 
to share a certain plunder ? He asks if he bid them not pluck the 
fruits ? Implying, it was not he who hindered their acquisition of know- 
ledge, and of life too. Certainly he did not bid them so abstain. His 
business was (which he accomplished) quite the contrary, in respect 
of the fruit of the prohibited tree : he bid them not abstain from, but 
pluck it, in defiance of their maker and his threatening of death. But 
what thank to him for that ? Or at least, if good be, as has been 
shewn, educed from it by the arrangments and goodness of God, still, 
no thank to Lucifer. He did all he could to procure temporal and 
eternal death to his deluded prey. His next question is, if he planted 
things prohibited within the reach of beings innocent, and curious by 
their own innocence ? His reflection of course is upon God, for hav- 
ing done so. And it is to be seen, if the Almighty can justly be so 
reflected on. We admit Adam and Eve to have been innocent. As 
to their curiosity we know not. They may or may not have been 
curious. Probably they were, as they were intelligent, new in exist- 
ence, happy, and surrounded by objects calculated to excite admira- 
tion. Suppose then all this, and then, that their Almighty benefactor 



108 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

and familiar friend informed them that of all which he had placed in 
their lovely territories, he excepted one tree only from their use, viz. 
the tree which he specifically pointed out to them, growing in the centre 
of the garden, which he told them was (not the tree of knowledge 
generally, but) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And this 
information he accompanied by a direct injunction not to eat of that 
tree, because in the day they should do so, they should surely die. 
Now can we imagine Adam and Eve to have been destitute of com- 
mon sense, or of common discretion ? Certainly not. Then what 
person of the present day, of common sense and common discretion, 
would not say, that if he or she suffered their curiosity to lead them 
into so egregious a disregard of their own interests, they richly de- 
served all the consequences? Or, does our innocence justify our wil- 
fully becoming criminal? Or, does innocence imply a necessarily at- 
tendant morbid curiosity which no motive can restrain ? Or, can that 
curiosity be justified, which, not content with what it may reasonably 
and lawfully indulge in, will, besides, in spite of every moral opposi- 
tion, deem itself entitled to a prohibited object merely because within 
its reach ? The truth however is, that Eve, being assailed by a so- 
phister, suffered her curiosity to induce her assenting to his sophisms, 
by which she became willingly, yet against her conscience, convinced ; 
though that conviction included in it not only a disregard of her own 
eminent danger, but a most ungrateful disregard to the will of her be- 
neficent creator. The foregoing observations and questions of Lucifer 
prove him to have overheard Cain's preceding soliloquy, from which, 
conjurer-like, he here draws arguments, as if from his own store of 
knowledge of the thoughts of dust, and which he knew would bear 
their share in fixing his hold on Cain. His pretence that he would have 
made them gods, is in exact keeping with his character. He did, 
however, make them such gods as they were, and which was all he 
could do. But he is altogether wrong in saying, that the Almighty 
thrust them forth that they might not eat the fruits of life, and become 
gods as they, viz. as Lucifer and his satellites. For they had already 
become as much and as miserable gods, as Lucifer could make them ; 



"WITH NOTES. 109 

and we have seen, that they were thrust forth expressly to prevent the 
perpetuation of that misery, and to make way for its final and ever- 
lasting removal, by their, and their posterity, by faith, eating of that 
other fruit of life which came down from heaven, and of which, if 
man eat, he shall never die. As to Lucifer's asking Cain if those 
were the Almighty's words, and Cain's replying yes, as heard in 
thunder, they are both wrong. They were not the Almighty's words : 
nor have we any intimation of God having spoken in thunder. The 
divine observation was ; " behold the man is become like one of us, 
therefore, lest he put forth his hand and eat of the tree of life," and 
so forth ; very opposite to Lucifer's statement. The tree of life was 
not to make gods ; the other tree was to do that, according to Luci- 
fer; and the experiment was tried. Lucifer rejoins thus; 



LUCIFER. 

Then who was the demon ] He 
Who would not let ye live, or he who would 
Have made ye live forever in the joy 
And power of knowledge 1 ? 

CAIN. 

Would they had snatch'd both 
The fruits, or neither! 

LUCIFER. 

One is your's already, 
The other may be still. 

CAIN. 

How so 1 ? 



110 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

By being 

Yourselves, in your resistance. Nothing can 
Quench the mind, if the mind will be itself 
And centre of surrounding things 'tis made 
To sway. 

Note 17. 

Here again, Lucifer, as if criminally conscious, seems to allude 
to some being who had been suspected of tempting Eve in the shape 
of the serpent, and thereby betraying, and procuring her that death 
which was threatened on the eating of the forbidden fruit. He asks 
" then who was the demon ? " Now Cain had not been speaking 
of any demon. It looks therefore something like the accusation of a 
guilty conscience. But it also appears to shew Lord Byron's view of 
the matter too, against Lucifer's innocence. But more of that after- 
wards. As however this term " demon" is used here for the first 
time, and occurs shortly on another occasion, that will be a proper oc- 
casion for some remarks on the subject. It is sufficient here, just to 
notice that, among the ancients, demons comprehended beings both 
of good and evil character : or at least, if not evil in its worst degree, 
yet approaching it, and much inferior in morals to the good. That 
Lucifer, in this place intends the latter, that is, demons of the worst 
class, cannot be doubted ; otherwise, he would not have applied the 
term to the Almighty, to whom he can ascribe nothing good. And 
on this occasion he certainly does, however covertly and with horrible 
impiety, yet highly in character with himself, and which shews the 
author's judgment, impute the term, in its evil acceptation, to the 
Supreme, by insinuating that it was he (the Almighty) who " would 
not let" Cain and his parents live ; for that he himself (Lucifer) would 
have made them live forever. To be sure, he does seem to ask the 
question fairly, as to which was the demon of the two. But we can 



WITH NOTES. Ill 

scarce suppose he meant, to adopt the character himself. And if not, 
he must have intended to apply it to the Almighty. Indeed it is ap- 
parent, from his after assertion, that he himself would have made them 
live forever. We will very shortly (for Lucifer requires much repeti- 
tion in order to keep closely up with all his slanders) examine into 
this allegation of his, that it was their maker who would not let them 
live ; that is, of course, by expelling them from Eden, and the use of 
the tree of life. If therefore it was Lucifer who prohibited and warned 
Adam from the forbidden fruit, as the procurer of his death ; and if it 
were the Almighty in the serpent who told Eve she should not die, and 
persuaded her to disregard the penalty of such prohibition; then Lu- 
cifer is right in charging it on the Almighty that he would not let 
Adam live. But the exact reverse of that proposition is true, and the 
conclusion must be exactly the reverse also. For it was Lucifer who 
induced them to incur the certain means of death. Who then was it 
would not let them live ? Apply this to common life, and all doubt va- 
nishes. But what is more common than for culprits to throw their 
crimes on others ? But if it should be said still, that it was God who 
would not let them live, because he removed them from the use of the 
tree of life ; the answer is, that had they been permitted from its use 
to have preserved their existence, such existence would have been 
a hopeless state of spiritual and moral death, in alienation from their 
maker, and incapacity of his regard : whereas by their being subjected 
to mortality through their necessitated abstinence from the tree of life, 
they were put into a certain road to immortal life and bliss, with a re- 
newed enioyment Of their creator's favour ; that is as many as accept 
the appointed medium made known by the revelation, of the authen- 
ticity and credibility of which, some short notice has been taken. As 
to Lucifer's boast that he would have made them live forever ; it is well 
known he has not the power of giving life, though it is equally cer- 
tain he is, instrumentally, and often, the inciter to death. lie is well 
aware, that after death there is no redemption ; and that, if that be 
not secured in life, and he can bring to the grave, his work is done. 
What the " Master of Spirits" means by his causing them to live in 



112 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

" the joy and power of knowledge," I cannot tell. I think it must 
be mere Luciferian and unmeaning bombast. We know what sort of 
knowledge the fruit of the tree of knowledge had imparted ; not a 
joyful knowledge certainly, to its immediate recipients at any rate. 
And what could be its power ? It produced moral and natural weak- 
ness. And I know of no other knowledge which Lucifer had either 
the capacity or the will to impart, that would have been good for man. 
This knowledge he willingly gave, because he knew from Eve it led 
to death. But neither, I apprehend, does other and general know- 
ledge, by any means, certainly procure either joy or power. There 
may be much knowledge unaccompanied by either. Other and col- 
lateral circumstances are necessary to make knowledge productive of 
those pleasant fruits; circumstances, under higher control than 
Lucifer's. But of that Cain chose to know nothing. Besides, 
knowledge may produce the reverse of joy ; sorrow and sadness, 
as many know. All depends upon the right use of knowledge, 
and the kind of knowledge. I therefore think that Lucifer's pre- 
tence amounts to less than nothing. For there is no kind of know- 
ledge under the sun, but one, which can produce a power that will 
drive away sorrow and sadness, or procure happiness in despite of 
them. And that one kind of knowledge Lucifer could not give, for 
he knew it not himself; and who can impart that which he does not 
possess ? What that one knowledge is, may be learned from the 
revelation so often adverted to. 

Lucifer next, on Cain's lamenting, though unwisely, as we have 
seen, that his parents had not snatched both the fruits or none ; tells 
him, that one was his already, and that the other, meaning that of 
life, may be still. And upon Cain's enquiring how that should be, 
he tells him, rather enigmatically perhaps, " by being yourselves in 
your resistance." What Lucifer meant exactly by that expression, is 
not, perhaps, quite easy to determine. We must guess. For many 
of Lucifer's oracles of old required guessing at ; and after all would 
deceive. If, however, he meant resistance to the Almighty, (as it 
seems almost incredible he should,) he gave but poor encouragement 



WITH NOTES. 113 

lo Cain to resist that power by which he, " with all his might," had 
been overcome. Or if he meant, that man should resist extinction of 
his being ; yet that seems too unlikely to suppose ; unless it be in 
connexion with his preceding vaunt that if God had made him he 
could not unmake. But that I hardly can imagine. Did he then 
mean what some of the philosophizing ancients, the Stoics perhaps 
especially, intended by their inward resistance of all mental impres- 
sions from external evil, pain, or suffering, and that the true dignity 
and power of man consisted in such resistance ? This possibly was 
Lucifer's meaning ; for that he had some meaning I believe, though 
possibly, what I should deem an absurd one. Some individuals I 
apprehend have in fact practised this mode of being themselves in 
their resistance to a considerable extent. But what does that lead to, 
unless proceeding from right principles? For death they cannot 
resist ; that is, successfully. Some indeed have exclaimed in their 
extremity and resistance to their maker " God ! I won't die," and 
have expired instantly. Resistance of death is therefore vain. And 
it was death that Cain was most concerned about. 

But Lucifer proceeds. He endeavours to stimulate Cain still 
more by telling him "nothing can quench the mind, if the mind 
will be itself and centre of surrounding things." What Lucifer here 
also exactly means, may not be quite plain to see. Yet neither can 
it be material, if it be true that the mind itself may be quenched ; 
whether it will be itself and centre of surrounding things, or not. 
That imaginary operation of the mind's power therefore cannot save 
it. It may be quenched by the same hand which bestowed it (what- 
ever the mind is) in man's creation. It must be owned that Cain had 
not experience of that truth, and therefore was not a match for Luci- 
fer ; but after the lapse of six thousand years, there is evidence enough 
of the quenchability of the human mind, even before the body fails, 
or at least is resolved into its dust. What, else, made 

" From Marlborough the tears of dotage flow, 
And Swift expire a driveller and a shew ?" 



114 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Therefore, though man should employ his whole existence in making 
his mind be itself and centre of surrounding things ; or, in other 
words, though the mind may will to be itself and centre of surround- 
ing things, yet, if the mind be quenched, what becomes of its will ? 
And that the mind may be quenched needs no proof but abundant 
experience. That some minds are commensurate in power with their 
corporeal tenement, and only drop with that, is no argument against 
their liability to be sooner quenched, either by the invisible hand of 
God, as it should sometimes seem, or by bodily causes more or less 
visible. This the mind must therefore be exposed to, so long as body 
and mind are so mutually dependent, that it is hard to tell which first 
affects the other. Lucifer's concluding attribute of the mind, however, 
is less exceptionable, if not rather just and grand " 't is made to 
sway." And who can deny it ? And this, so long as its powers are 
continued, it ought to do, and will do, in all who are duly conscious 
of their " high original," and permit their minds to retain their supe- 
rior station in controling and directing their inferior nature. Had 
Eve done so, and Adam, they had not transgressed. Had Cain done 
so, he had not been discontented. 

For some reason or other, this piece of metaphysics seems to 
have been lost on Cain, who appears absorbed in the more interesting 
enquiry, which Lucifer himself had given rise to, respecting his mo- 
ther's misfeasance. He therefore overlooks the metaphysics, as if be- 
yond his comprehension, or, in his opinion, beside the matters in hand ; 
and boldly, though rather quaintly, returns to his charge against Luci- 
fer, with his " but didst thou tempt my parents ?" The follow- 
ing confabulation thereupon ensues. 

CAIN. 

But didst thou tempt my parents ? 

LUCIFER. 

I? 
Poor clay! what should I tempt them for, or how? 



WITH NOTES. 115 



CAIN. 

They say the serpent was a spirit. 

LUCIFER. 

Who 

Saith that ? It is not written so on high : 
The proud One will not so far falsify, 
Though man's vast fears and little vanity 
Would make him cast upon the spiritual nature 
His own low failing. The snake was the snake 
No more ; and yet not less than those he tempted, 
In nature being earth also more in wisdom., 
Since he could overcome them, and foreknew 
The knowledge fatal to their narrow joys. 
Think'st thou I 'd take the shape of things that die"? 



Note 18. 

Here, as was just above observed, Cain abruptly turns to charge 
Lucifer again with tempting his parents. Lucifer, first, addressed 
his new acquaintance by the appellation of " Mortal ! " Afterwards, 
on the example set him by Cain, he calls him " Dust." Now, he 
honours him with the dignified attribute of "Poor clay!" And 
he soothingly evades, yet appears to answer, Cain's repeated interro- 
gatory, concerning his parents, by asking Cain, what he should tempt 
them for, or how ? So that he seems unable, with all his audacity, 
to deny the feet. Cain however, seeming to be rather posed with 
this question, and not attempting to answer it, I shall take leave to 
endeavour to answer it in his stead. As to the " what" then, which 
he should tempt them "for;" it was, I presume, according to all 

i 2 



116 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

that we can collect from his words and actions, that he might, at all 
events, induce them to disobey their maker's command, the purport 
of which he well knew from his conversancy with Eden, and no 
doubt from his having picked up, from time to time, such informa- 
tion respecting the forbidden fruit, as induced him to practise his 
skill upon Eve, in the way he did. He therefore knew, that if he 
could succeed in prevailing upon her to listen to him, there was every 
probability of Adam's being induced to join her in her transgression. 
The consequence of that he was sure would be the execution of the 
divine sentence ; and, if he did not know exactly what death was, 
yet he was sure it must be something that would not only create 
misery to the new-made mortals, but most likely bring them, in some 
way or other, under his permanent influence, and perhaps dominion. 
This, as we shall find from himself more distinctly ere long, was there- 
fore the " what" he tempted Cain's parents for. And we may recol- 
lect his saying, not long since, that pangs were made more endurable 
by the unbounded sympathy of all. The well-known though homely 
maxim, therefore, " the more the better," applies, most emphatically, 
to Lucifer in this affair. With respect to the " how ; " the answer 
is given to our hand. We have seen it was (for he has not denied, 
but rather confessed it) by actuating the serpent in his suggestions to 
Eve. Cain tells him, that his parents said, the serpent was a spirit. 
If Cain said truth, which we have a right to believe he did, they must 
have learned it by revelation from heaven, as has been before noticed. 
The manner, in which Lucifer, however, receives this intelligence 
from Cain, seems to yield fresh proof of its truth ; for he is evidently 
touched again by it to the quick ; and seems to start, in asking 
" Who saith that ? It is not written so on high : the proud One will 
not so far falsify." With respect to his assertion of its not being 
written so on high, (I suppose he means not recorded in Heaven) he 
was not incorrect ; and said so boldly and safely, for the reason pre- 
sently given respecting Cain's not distinguishing between the serpent 
being a proper spirit, and being only inhabited and actuated by a 
spirit. As to his denomination of " proud One," given to the Al- 






WITH NOTES. 117 

mighty, it is quite in his appropriate style. But, his declaration that 
God would not so far falsify, as to say, that the serpent was a spirit, 
requires a little consideration. That expression seems perhaps to a- 
mount to a denial of his having had any thing to do with the serpent ; 
which he had not denied before. And it does appear to me, that 
Lord Byron (whose business it was to exhibit character with all ap- 
propriate accuracy) both believed in the serpent's having been inha- 
bited by Lucifer, and also intended to preserve Lucifer's artful cha- 
racter. I am not willing to afford the appearance of cavilling, even 
with Lucifer, nor to affect distinctions without a difference. But I 
must believe, that Lucifer on this occasion is taking advantage of 
Cain's inaccuracy, in stating that they (his parents) said the serpent 
was a spirit. The probability seems to be, that they told Cain the 
truth, as revealed to them from Heaven, (not that the serpent was a 
spirit, but,) that the serpent was inhabited and actuated by a spirit : 
and Cain did not advert to the difference ; which gave Lucifer his 
advantage over him. This therefore afforded Lucifer an opportunity 
of affirming the negative of Cain's statement, which he probably 
would not have done, had Cain only asserted the serpent's subjection 
to some spiritual influence foreign to himself. And this, by the way, 
leads us to an additional argument to prove Lucifer's intimate con- 
nexion with die snake in this affair, in the way attributed to him. 
For although the snake was, in scripture language, more subtle than 
any other beast of the field, and therefore perhaps by Lucifer deemed 
fittest for his purposes, as creating least suspicion ; yet scripture does 
not say, that he was inimical to man ; which, at that happy period, 
no part of the creation was. But the serpent (under diabolical in- 
fluence) was so inimical. And even were we to allow to any beast 
the power of being rebellious also against his creator (by disputing 
his word as the serpent did) we cannot think that such was the case 
at that time. Nothing therefore seems to me to remain, but that the 
snake must have been prompted and overborne, by a superior and 
spiritual power, for purposes such as a being like Lucifer had to ef- 
fect. I think then that Cain, has been represented by Lord Byron 



118 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

as thus mistaking his information, in order to give Lucifer this ap- 
parent advantage over him, thereby to further develope Lucifer's 
specious but deceptive character. I say apparent advantage; for 
substantially the effect was the same, either way. Lucifer's next 
assertion however, that man's vast fears, and little vanity, would make 
him charge his error in this matter upon the spiritual nature, is more 
easily made than proved ; for it has been seen, I think, that the 
serpent was certainly actuated by a wicked spirit; and there seems 
every evidence that the " Master of Spirits" was the culprit ; and we 
have also seen, and shall see further presently, that mankind, uni- 
versally, have had such impressions of the existence of such an evil 
being as Lucifer, that nothing but the fact, however disfigured by tra- 
dition, can account for. Even Plato seems to have had an idea of 
the fall of man, through means not altogether unanalogous to this 
transaction. What Lucifer means, by man's vast fears and little va- 
nity, is perhaps not otherwise intelligible, than by supposing, that by 
his vast fears he alludes to Adam and Eve in the first instance, and 
their posterity afterwards, seeking some refuge from the divine dis- 
pleasure, by attributing their error to Lucifer or some other spirit ; as 
Eve did in her imperfect manner, though there seems every reason 
to believe that God revealed the fact to Adam afterwards, as it cer- 
tainly was revealed subsequently and more distinctly under the Chris- 
tian dispensation. And as to the little, or contemptible, vanity of 
man, Lucifer probably meant, that man, to gratify his little pride, 
and not to avow his inferiority in understanding, to a mere reptile, 
would ascribe his deception, and fall, to a more powerful, that is, to 
a higher and spiritual being ; as, in point of fact, was the truth. It 
may be thought by some, to be rather trifling to dwell so much upon 
this subject. But as the fact comprized in it is of the utmost concern 
to man, it cannot be altogether uninteresting to arrive at satisfactory 
conviction in our minds respecting it. It appears to me to be a mat- 
ter, the reverse of insignificant or unimportant, whether we are or are 
not thoroughly satisfied that there is a powerful and spiritual advers- 
ary of man. T is true, the New Testament establishes that fact, and 



WITH NOTES. 119 

some may ask, is not that sufficient '? It assuredly is so, for general 
purposes, to those who believe it. But is it not allowed to all, and in 
some cases necessary, that their faith be confirmed by reason and rational 
evidence, for various desirable purposes ? And may it not be safely as- 
serted, that the belief of the existence and operations of the devil (to 
speak plainly) forms no small part of the faith of Christians ? I had al- 
most said, its foundation. For perhaps it is not too much to affirm, that 
had there been no devil, there would have been no Christianity, no re- 
demption, necessary : nor, most assuredly, would Jesus Christ have 
"come to destroy the works of the devil," by his own sufferings and 
death. 

I therefore observe a little further, that this matter seems confirmed 
(taking the relation before us as a fact, more than a drama, as in this 
instance we safely may) by Lucifer's being so tremblingly alive, when- 
ever Cain touches upon it, instantly standing upon the defensive, 
either in the way of evasion, or justification, or denial, as the case 
may require. He seems too, to rejoice with secret exultation at the 
snake's success. Was mere not reason for that ? Was he not rejoic- 
ing at his own success ? He says " the snake was the snake ; no 
more." That is true, taken with explanations lately given. But his 
next description of the snake is curious, and seems again to confirm the 
truth ; for he says he was more in wisdom than they he tempted, since 
he could overcome them. But his more wisdom did not necessarily 
import his more malice. Then again ; this same snake "foreknew 
the knowledge fatal to their narrow joys." But how can it be believed 
mat the snake, as the snake merely, could foreknow it ? It cannot 
be supposed his natural " subtlety" extended so far. And even the 
foreknowledge Lucifer speaks of was what he had acquired by his 
tampering with Eve, and from what he overheard in Eden, as there 
seems reasonable ground to suppose. Nor is it any argument against 
these views of the matter, that Moses says nothing of them, but relates 
the affair simply, as it occurred to outward observation ; for we know 
the brevity and simplicity of his narrations. When Lucifer desig- 
nates the happiness of the first human pair by the term narrow joys, 



120 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

he of course speaks contemptuously as usual : but their narrowness I 
apprehend did not consist so much in their inferior nature, as in their 
insecurity, as being liable to be lost by overstepping the limited 
boundary set to them ; and which was, the necessity of obedience to 
the divine command. As to that part of his defence here, which 
questions Cain whether he could suppose he would take the shape of 
things that die, there can be no difficulty in it when we recollect that 
upon his conqueror's ejecting him once out of some poor demoniacs, 
he craved permission to enter into a herd of swine. Yet even this 
last interrogatory, which perhaps Lucifer thought unanswerable be- 
cause he did not foresee his own future base associations for the pur- 
pose of gratifying his malice and enmity, did not dislodge Cain from 
his idea of the serpent's spirituality, in some way or other, as we shall 
see by his succeeding question. 

CAIN. 

But the thing had a demon ? 

LUCIFER. 

He but woke one 

In those he spake to with his forky tongue. 
I tell thee that the serpent was no more 
Than a mere serpent : ask the cherubim 
Who guard the tempting tree. When thousand ages 
Have roll'd o'er your dead ashes, and your seed's, 
The seed of the then world may thus array 
Their earliest fault in fable, and attribute 
To me a shape I scorn, as I scorn all 
That bows to him, who made things but to bend 
Before his sullen, sole eternity ; 
But we, who see the truth, must speak it. Thy 
Fond parents listen'd to a creeping thing, 






WITH NOTES. 121 

And fell. For what should spirits tempt them ? What 
Was there to envy in the narrow bounds 
Of Paradise, that spirits who pervade 

Space but I speak to thee of what thou know'st not, 

With all thy tree of knowledge. 

CAIN. 

But thou canst not 

Speak aught of knowledge which I would not know. 
And do not thirst to know, and bear a mind 
To know. 

LUCIFER. 
And heart to look on 1 

CAIN. 

Be it proved. 

Note 1 9. 

We may remember Lucifer's having himself given Cain occa- 
sion for this notion, by so impiously attributing that character and 
nature to the Almighty ; and we then referred to a future opportunity 
of saying a few words on the subject, more directly, of demonology, 
as illustrative of our principal proposition respecting Lucifer's opera- 
tions concerning man. That opportunity now occurs. 

It is, then, well known, that the ancient heathens, not only the 
Egyptians and others of the earliest nations, but the Greeks also, of 
later origin than they, had their peculiar superior deities ; and that the 
most enlightened among them acknowledged one in particular of those 
superior deities as the Supreme God. But, whether more or less 
gross in their notions of those superior deities, they had inferior dei- 



122 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ties also. These they considered to have been the souls of men, per- 
haps chiefly of the higher mental and other qualities while in the 
body, and whose souls the superior deity or deities raised to a nature 
inferior indeed to their own, but superior to the human. These were 
called by an apellative, which, in the English language, is translated 
for the most part demons. It clearly appears too, that these beings 
were deemed to be of a spiritual nature, and not always, nor per- 
haps chiefly, inimical ; but often, if not generally, friendly and bene- 
ficent, to man. They were, moreover, at least the better among 
them, considered as forming an intermediate and connecting order of 
existence, and to officiate as mediators between the gods and man- 
kind ; not only by revealing to the latter the mind and will of the 
former, and transmitting their prayers and sacrifices, but even by in- 
spiring encouragement, consolation, or mental support, in difficult or 
painful circumstances. These mediative beings were considered as 
being gifted with a power of access to the human mind, at least to 
an extent needful for their purposes. It is evident, however, that 
this system, though in itself erroneous and hurtful, was capable of 
increased mischief by abuse and perversion. How true it may be 
(but it seems very credible) that these mediators were the offspring 
of dark and traditionary notions derived from the Jews, or Jewish 
writings, relating to the Messias, need not here be entered into ; nor 
perhaps would the disquisition be a very easy one ; yet that is assert- 
ed as a fact by learned men. These demons, at the same time, are 
decidedly to be distinguished from those evil beings, or spirits, and 
Lucifer at their head, with the belief of whom also, the heathen and 
pagan world abounded, and who, in a former note, are shewn to be 
recognized by the writings of the Old and New Testament. For all 
the above-mentioned purposes however, of intervention, and media- 
tion, and other services, it was further thought, that the demons in 
question, (sometimes termed also genii,) must necessarily, from their 
spiritual nature, inhabit and actuate those individuals to whom they 
chose to attach themselves, whether for better or worse ends ; for 
having been themselves originally human, their regard to man, either 






WITH NOTES. 123 

in benevolence or malice, continued, and they were unrestricted in 
the objects of their attention. Hence Socrates, perhaps more point- 
edly than any other heathen, though so eminent for wisdom generally, 
and for virtue, was accustomed to maintain, that he was attended 
and guided by, and that he highly reverenced, his good demon or 
genius. Plato also, and Cicero, not to mention others, appear to 
have entertained the same, or very similar views. It does not seem 
clear, that much, if any, direct evil agency was ascribed to these de- 
mons ; though there seems to have been attributed to them at least 
various degrees of goodness ; insomuch that the lowest degree ap- 
proached the nature of direct and positive evil, manifested by sug- 
gestions to the mind, more or less contrary to what was right and 
good. Yet the belief of evil genii appears to have obtained. Hence 
it is related of Brutus, that at the battle of Pharsalia, his evil genius 
appeared to him, and told him he would meet him again at Philippi : 
in which last battle Brutus was killed. That Lucifer however, or 
Satan, with whom we are now concerned, has actually taken great 
advantages of these notions of men, and turned them to his purposes 
of diabolical mischief against their welfare, there seems most abun- 
dant reason to believe, unless we would reject testimony, which, to 
reject, would be to shake the foundation of all moral evidence and 
reasonable certainty. These remarks may serve to explain the au- 
thor's meaning in the reply of Lucifer to Cain now before us, in which 
he causes Lucifer to ascribe an indwelling demon or genius to Eve ; 
adding that the snake woke that demon by the words he spoke to her. 
There seems to be some difficulty in this, inasmuch as at that early 
period of the world there could be no demon in the sense we have 
been considering, because no mortal had yet died. If therefore Eve 
were so inhabited or possessed at all, it must have been by one of the 
associate rebel angels whom scripture usually calls devils. 

Lucifer in this speech renews his assurance to Cain, that the ser- 
pent was no more than a mere serpent, (which is granted with the ex- 
planation of Lucifer's inhabiting him, as above given) and refers Cain 
for satisfaction, to the cherubim who guarded the tree. That was 



T24 CAIN, A MYSTEUY, 

idle, because Cain had no access to diem : and if he had, it does not 
follow they should know the fact, unless God had revealed it to them, 
which it does not appear he had done, or that it was necessary or de- 
sirable he should, as he probably did to Adam and Eve who were so 
much more interested in it. But all this duplicity is quite in good 
keeping with Lucifer's general character. Lucifer then refers to what 
he describes as \hefabulizing of die event of the fall of man in future 
and remote ages of the world. The fact is, that traditions of the 
event have been preserved from its origin, though, as may be expected, 
much distorted. But it appears that even Plato had an idea of it, 
(however acquired,) and that he ascribed it to the intervention of evil 
in the iron age of the world, disharmonizing the primeval rectitude of 
of man. As to Lucifer's affectation of scorning the shape of a ser- 
pent, we need only add our persuasion, to what has been before 
said, that he would scorn no shape whatever, by the assumption or 
inhabitation of which, he might accomplish his seducing and des- 
tructive purposes. That he scorns all who worship infinite wisdom, 
power, and goodness we know. But when he characterizes God's 
worshippers as merely bending before his " sullen, sole eternity," we 
have already seen the utter unfoundedness of that calumny, from the 
nature of superior spirits, as well as from the nature of the Eternal 
himself, the very opposite of sole or solitary, in Lucifer's sense, and 
of "sullen" in any sense at all. What he exactly means by saying, 
that he and his, who see the truth must speak it, I do not immedi- 
ately perceive, unless a compliment to themselves be intended, which 
indeed appears likely. And yet it will be seen, that, whether com- 
pulsorily or not, Lucifer does sometimes speak the truth, though lies 
are his proper element. It is acknowledged that he spake the truth 
in saying, that Cain's parents fell by listening to a creeping thing : but 
still he has not shewn, that he himself was not in that creeping thing : 
indeed he has even confessed it and with secret if not open triumph : 
such is his boasted veracity. He then asks again for what should 
spirits tempt them? That has been answered; and though there 
were notliing in the mere narrow bounds of Eden itself to tempt 



WITH NOTES. 125 

spirits who pervade space, yet the human race was sufficient tempta- 
tion to evil beings who are ever desirous of associating others with 
themselves, or of destroying or annoying them if they cannot. Be- 
sides, they had " pangs innumerable" to be alleviated by the unbound- 
ed sympathy of men, as well as devils. But when Lucifer had men- 
tioned space he stops, and tells Cain, that, with all his tree of know- 
ledge, he knew nothing about that. And upon Cain's replying he 
had nevertheless a wish, and a thirst, to know any thing of which 
Lucifer could speak to him ; and possessed a mind also to know it ; 
and that he had even a heart to look on it, Lucifer then names a sub- 
ject of some interest, in the ensuing continuation of the dialogue. 

LUCIFER. 

Dar'st thou to look on Death"? 

CAIN. 

He has not yet 
Been seen. 

LUCIFER. 
But must be undergone. 

CAIN, 

My father 

Says he is something dreadful, and my mother 
Weeps when he 's named ; and Abel lifts his eyes 
To Heaven, and Zillah casts hcr's to the Earth 
And sighs a prayer ; and Adah looks on me, 
And speaks not. 

LUCIFER. 
And thou? 



126 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

Thoughts unspeakable 
Crowd in my breast to burning, when I hear 
Of this almighty Death, who is, it seems, 
Inevitable. Could I wrestle with him? 
I wrestled with the lion, when a boy, 
In play, till he ran roaring from my gripe. 

LUCIFER. 

It has no shape ; but will absorb all things 
That bear the form of earth-born being. 

CAIN. 

Ah! 

I thought it was a being : who could do 
Such evil things to beings save a being ? 

LUCIFER. 

Ask the Destroyer. 

CAIN. 
Who? 

LUCIFER. 

The Maker call him 
Which name thou wilt ; he makes but to destroy. 

CAIN. 

I knew not that, yet thought it, since I heard 
Of death : although I know not what it is, 




WITH XOTES. 127 

Yet it seems horrible. I have look'd out 

In the vast desolate night in search of him ; 

And when 1 saw gigantic shadows in 

The umbrage of the walls of Eden, chequer'd 

By the far-flashing of the cherubs' swords, 

I watch'd for what I thought his coming ; for 

With fear rose longing in my heart to know 

What 't was which shook us all but nothing came. 

And then I turn'd my weary eyes from off 

Our native and forbidden Paradise, 

Up to the lights above us, in the azure, 

Which are so beautiful: shall they too die? 

LUCIFER. 
Perhaps but long outlive both thine and thee. 

CAIN. 

I 'm glad of that ; I would not have them die, 
They are so lovely. What is death "? I fear, 
I feel, it is a dreadful thing ; but what, 
I cannot compass: 'tis denounced against us, 
Both them who sinn'd and siuu'd not, as an ill 
What ill? 

LUCIFER. 

To be resolved into the earth. 

CAIN. 
But shall I know it ? 



128 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



I cannot answer. 



LUCIFER. 

As I know not death, 
CAIN. 



Were I quiet earth, 

That were no evil : would I ne'er had been 
Aught else but dust ! 

Note 20. 

In this part of the conversation between Lucifer and Cain, and 
in answer to Lucifer's question whether he dared to look on death 
commonly termed the King of Terrors, Cain seems scarcely to 
know what to say. He therefore replies, death has not yet been 
seen : Lucifer then tells him, he must at any rate be undergone. 
Cain's description of his family's various impressions relative to 
death, is exceedingly appropriate, and could only have proceeded 
from one who had pictured the scene to himself in its most natural 
form, as Lord Byron must have done. The subject was of general 
interest to the first human family, and was likely to produce the sen- 
sations ascribed to each of the individuals who composed it. Cain's 
own feelings and heroism are equally appropriate to him ; and the 
latter part of his animated portrait of himself seems to have taken its 
rise from the known intrepidity of one (Lord Byron himself) who 
delighted in feats of marine, and perhaps other hardihood : not the 
least of which (it may be) was his undaunted prowess in riding on the 
mane of Old Ocean, in its most terrific and sublime, and hazardous, 
excitement. Such an ascription of boldness therefore to Cain, in 
wrestling with the lion, was very natural for Lord Byron to imagine. 
Cain's observations therefore are natural and simple enough : but, 



WITH NOTES. 129 

when Lucifer says that death will absorb all things that bear the form 
of earth-born being ; he only speaks, first, as a malevolent spirit, and 
then, as one ignorant of that provision which is made to counteract 
and defeat that very death, that all-absorbing death, which he himself 
brought into the world by his success against Eve. That counter- 
acting agent I scarcely need say is the Gospel, or that revelation, of the 
authenticity of which something has been said in a preceding note. 
And upon Cain's asking Lucifer what, but a real being, could do 
such acts as he had ascribed to death, Lucifer bids him ask his ma- 
ker, or the " destroyer," for that they were both one, since the Al- 
mighty made but to destroy. Here again is an assertion of Lucifer's 
without proof: but it is a fresh instance of his gross untruth. Of 
this however more afterwards. At any rate the Almighty does not 
appear to have then destroyed any thing he had made, unless Lucifer 
meant his own destruction in being expelled from Heaven for his re- 
bellion. And though afterwards the earth was destroyed by a flood, 
sufficient reason is given for it by the Supreme Moral Governor, of 
whose wisdom and goodness, enough has been said for this place, to 
shew, that what he does can only be good, and not evil. And that, 
generally speaking, God is the " Preserver of men," as Job calls him, 
rather than the destroyer of his creatures, is too self-evident to need 
enlarging upon. It is absurd to speak of God as a professed des- 
troyer, and that in the worst of senses. What good man even was 
ever known to make, and then destroy, for destruction's sake ? Espe- 
cially when animate and sensitive beings were the object ? But des- 
truction, from moral considerations, is another thing. And God has 
been pleased to reveal, that a kind of moral necessity was laid upon 
him to destroy the world (by the deluge) on account of the wicked- 
ness of mankind. Happily, the general sense of mankind, in die 
present day, (I mean enlightened man,) is against revilers of the deity. 
And general sense is good evidence. Cain honestly confesses that he 
did not know that his maker was also a destroyer, yet he thought it 
since he heard of death, and " yet he did not know what death was, 
though it seemed to him horrible." His entertaining so dishonour- 

K 



130 CAIN, A MVSTEIIY, 

able a thought, then, of his maker, upon such insufficient grounds, 
was unreasonable to say the least ; from his conversation with Luci- 
fer, ought he not rather to have deemed him the destroyer ? Had he 
not, so far as he could, already destroyed his father, and mother, 
and family, and Cain himself, by causing their disobedience, and 
thereby introducing all the evils, (such as they were,) and even death 
itself, of which Cain so grievously complained ? Cain's description 
of his looking out for death is picturesque certainly. He speaks of 
the very idea of death as " shaking them ah 1 ." Of this a little will 
be said presently. Cain then enquiring of Lucifer if the " beautiful 
lights in the azure" were to die too, Lucifer answers more doubtfully 
than we, now, need do, as we are decidedly informed they shall, at 
the fore-appointed moment, pass all away with a great noise, and the 
elements melt with fervent heat. God has once, certainly, seen it 
right to destroy the earth by water, on account of the self-willed 
wickedness of man. I say self-willed, because I believe, that no 
moral agent, that is, no intelligent human being, ever practised wick- 
edness which his conscience did not convict him of having been 
willingly and wilfully, and not by force, committed by him. We 
are credibly informed, the earth will again be destroyed ; but by 
fire. Yet neither was the former, nor will be the ensuing destruction, 
merely wanton, as Lucifer would have it, but the result of motives 
corresponding with the known character of the infinitely wise and 
perfectly good creator of all things, and of which wisdom and indis- 
putable goodness every day brings renewed instances. 

Cain now again expresses his consternation at this terrible death. 
But he was incorrect in saying it was denounced against them that 
sinned not as well as against them that sinned. It was denounced, in 
fact, only against them who sinned. The others merely suffer it as 
from a cause producing its effect. Had Adam and Eve, as moral 
agents, obeyed their reason and not their will, that cause had not 
existed. The same observation applies to moral agents of the pre- 
sent day. And if a man pursues that course which produces evil to 
his progeny, as well as to himself, who is the denouncer of that evil ? 



WITH NOTES. 131 

Lucifer in answer to the question what the ill of death is, replies, the 
being resolved into the earth ; which elicits from Cain a confession, 
that he thought it no evil to be quiet earth, and that he fairly wished 
he had never been aught but dust. A very appropriate wish for 
an intelligent being and moral agent, like Cain, who was wilfully 
ignorant, as it should seem, of the immense value of his existence. 
But Lucifer himself will reprove him presently. It must not be al- 
lowed, however, that Lucifer's definition of the ill of death is either 
sufficient or accurate. He may, to be sure, be excusable, for the 
reason he gives, and for not knowing .all that we know on the sub- 
ject. His definition was still insufficient, inasmuch as he did not 
extend the ill of death, (if an ill it can be proved, which it cannot, 
except to moral agents who neglect its remedy,) to its future conse- 
quences beyond the resolution of the body into earth ; and it was 
inaccurate, for not explaining that it was all ill to some, but not to 
others. But this last explanation we cannot suppose he would have 
given if he could, because it must unavoidably have led to a detec- 
tion of his own practices upon man, as well as man's concurrence in 
them. 

But, the importance which the author has, in the person of Cain, 
given to the subject before us, seems to justify a few further passing 
remarks. I do not, myself, know of any nations or individuals of 
antiquity who generally entertained that horror of death which Cain 
here does. Not that the ancients were universally, or altogether care- 
less about it in some respects ; rather perhaps the contrary. Yet 
death I apprehend was to the heathen and pagan world, as at this 
day, more usually at least an object of disregard or calm indiffe- 
rence, if not, sometimes, of desirable anticipation. Nor, perhaps, 
has death ever been so much a matter of fearful apprehension to 
many individuals, as since the introduction of the Christian reve- 
lation. The difference may have arisen from the greater ignorance 
and darkness of the preceding periods^ But the effect is the reverse 
of what one would have expected from the enlightening and encou- 
raging, yet serious contents of that revelation, rationally established 

K 2 



132 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

as it is in point of authenticity. There seem to be three or four more 
obvious views in wliich the extinction of mortal life (no uninteresting 
object to a considerate mind) may be regarded as a subject of appre- 
hension or anxiety, or of, to say the least, most grateful acquies- 
cence. We will imagine the first to be the apprehended pain or 
suffering of its approach, or the fearful agonies of its encounter. 
Yet those apprehensions have often proved unfounded ; and, in per- 
haps the great majority of instances, those agonies do not occur. 
Another source of anxiety may be from unwillingness to part with, 
or solicitude for the welfare of, those we leave behind us. To 
some, possibly, the disinclination to lose the pleasures (so termed) or 
the gratifications, whether animal merely, or intellectual, of the pre- 
sent state, may form another source of dissatisfaction or regret. But 
another, and perhaps very prevailing one may be, the idea of a suc- 
ceeding, unknown, disembodied, spiritual, and extremely sensitive 
state and condition of existence, divested of all the qualifying and 
defensive circumstances of the present life : introduced to associa- 
tions with other spiritual and more powerful beings, whether good 
or evil, pure or impure, beneficent or malignant, friendly or hostile, 
who can tell ? Or with what capacity invested of inflicting pain 
upon beings of far inferior strength, and incapable of repelling or 
avoiding the most cruel aggressions ? And who dares say, that such 
a state of existence cannot, or may not, be ? And who, even in 
this world, is not most uncomfortable, to say the least, in the pre- 
sence of, or in unavoidable association with, those of mankind, of 
whom we know there are not a few, whose natures and characters 
are such as to render miserable not themselves only, but all who are 
so unhappy as to come within their influence. This misery is of 
course increased when they who cause it are to be ranked with the 
worse than brutal, the blood-thirsty, and the violent : how then, 
where such dispositions, with corresponding powers, shall be unre- 
strained, and unsubdued, by laws, or circumstances, or the over- 
ruling influence of Heaven ? Who would not rather earnestly covet, 
in the unchangeable state of future being, the society of the virtuous, 






WITH NOTES. 133 

the pious, the friendly, the benevolent ? To ensure the latter, is 
the point man should keep in view. 

Yet, besides these considerations, another arises from the pos- 
sibility of a disapproving reception by, and the subsequent, perpe- 
tual, and irreversible displeasure of, the Supreme, man's creator and 
moral governor, of a nature of infinite moral purity ; the rejection 
from whose presence must, itself, be misery ; but in whose pre- 
sence, there is the utmost reason to be assured, nothing, in any 
degree dissimilar to himself in point of moral purity, can be allowed 
to be. And how is man to acquire (for in himself he has it not) 
that perfect, and spotless, moral excellence, so indispensable to his 
well-being in a future state? The revelation, before considered, 
can alone solve that important question. Is it then not consistent 
with the nature of man, or the sanctions of true philosophy or right 
reason, to permit these considerations seriously to affect, with more 
than transient power, his thoughts, pursuits, and purposes, while 
passing through the present intervening stage of being ? How far, 
indeed, every alarming and painful apprehension of futurity may be 
removed, and every desirable and assured anticipation obtained, 
by the reception of the revelation glanced at, must be left to indi- 
vidual conviction. But Lord Byron, it will be seen, has in a future 
page, caused one of his personages to notice a matter, which will 
require a few more remarks, in connexion with the foregoing. Cain's 
wishing, however, that he had ne'er been aught else but dust, indu- 
ces some further excitement of his mind from Lucifer, in reply. 

LUCIFER. 

That is a grov'ling wish, 
Less than thy father's, for he wish'd to know. 

CAIN. 

But not to live, or wherefore pluck'd he not 
The life-tree? 






134 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

He was hinder'd. 



Deadly error! 

Not to suatch first that fruit: but ere he pluck'd 
The knowledge, he was ignorant of death. 
Alas ! I scarcely now know what it is, 
And yet J fear it fear I know not what! 

LUCIFER. 

And I, who know all things, fear nothing ; see 
What is true knowledge. 

CAIN. 

Wilt thou teach me all 1 

LUCIFER. 

Ay, upon one condition. 

CAIN. 

Name it. 

Note 21. 

It does not appear from scripture, that Lucifer had any ground 
for telling Cain that his father wished to know : on the contrary, it 
is said, " Adam was not deceived." His error seems to have arisen 
from a different motive, as elsewhere observed. Cain, also, should 
appear to be wrong, in saying his father did not wish to live, because 



WITH NOTES. 135 

he did not pluck the life-tree, the nature and intention of which tree 
has been before considered. Lucifer's repetition of Adam's having 
been hindered, only reminds us of the mercy of God in so hindering 
him, from continuing in the use of the tree of life : therefore Cain is 
again erroneous in ascribing error to his father in not snatching that 
fruit. As to Cain's saying that his father, until he had plucked the 
tree of knowledge, was ignorant of death, it amounts to nothing, 
because he afterwards knew no more of death than the name, until 
Cain himself, with Lucifer's aid, introduced it, with all its horror, 
into the world. His renewed confession of his ignorance and yet 
fear of death, fearing he knew not what, draws from Lucifer rather 
a pompous pretence of universal knowledge which emancipated him 
from all fear whatever. But setting aside the absurdity of that pre- 
tence, (for no knowledge, in any created being, can save him from 
liability to the cause of inevitable fear, but the true knowledge of 
God,) there is little reason to credit Lucifer on this occasion, when 
we recollect that he cannot be supposed to have known all the divine 
intentions respecting man or himself ultimately ; and as to his fear- 
ing nothing, when we recollect that, when the pinching time 
arrived, he questioned his conqueror if he was come to torment him 
before his time. We are also informed, that the devils believe and 
tremble. Such is the worth of Luciferian knowledge. This bait 
however, of universal fear-dispelling knowledge is not lost upon 
Cain, who instantly swallows it, and is caught, for he expresses 
his desire of being taught all, by such a master, and Lucifer consents 
to gratify him upon one condition, which Cain, sensibly enough, 
desires to know before he shall assent to Lucifer's terms : what those 
terms are, will now appear. 



LUCIFER. 

That 
Thou dost fall down and worship me thy Lord. 



136 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

Thou art not the Lord my father worships. 

LUCIFER. 

No. 

CAIN. 

His equal 1 

LUCIFER. 

No; I have nought in common with him! 
Nor would: I would be aught above beneath 
Aught save a sharer or a servant of 
His power. I dwell apart ; but I am great : 
Many there are who worship me, and more 
Who shall be thou amongst the first. 

Note 22. 

If Lucifer had feed Lord Byron to plead his cause, or advance 
his interests with mankind, he pitched upon an advocate, who has, 
in truth, betrayed his client. For, to say nothing of what has gone 
before, or may come after, his Lordship has, in this condition of 
Lucifer's for teaching Cain all things, evidently discovered his client's 
cloven foot. For, as if to give Lucifer his death-blow as to his 
reception among men, he makes Lucifer say that, which, however 
appropriate to himself, must be expected to operate in diminution 
of his kingdom, and in lessening the number of those whom he seeks 
to entrap, and hold secure, in order that by " the' unbounded sym- 
pathy of all" he may make his own " pangs more endurable :" 
because it is self-evident that if, as Lucifer requires, men worship 



WITH NOTES. 137 

him, their alienation from their maker, and consequent subjection to 
Lucifer's dominion, follow of course. But of this, Lucifer will 
afford further occasion to say a little more, hereafter. Tin's propo- 
sition therefore to Cain, though quite consistent with Lucifer's pride, 
enmity, and ambition, is far otherwise than in his usual garb of 
artifice and deception. It is so palpable, as to need no detection; 
it speaks plainly for itself. It even goes beyond his daring offer to 
his conqueror in future times, whose lord he would not venture to 
style himself as he here does Cain's. To that circumstance the author 
seems to advert on this occasion. But the different entertainment 
given to Lucifer by Cain and his own superior lord, is important. 
The Saviour, when invited to fall down and worship him, bids him 
in effect begone to his own place ; but Cain continues his friendly 
conference. Yet is not all praise to be withheld from Cain ; who, 
though he does not dismiss him as he should have done, at least 
demurs, and questions his right to adoration. He tells him he is 
not his father's God, and questions him as to his equality with him. 
His inequality to the Almighty, Lucifer honestly enough confesses, 
but seems to labour for words to express his detestation of his cre- 
ator. Nor will that be wonderful, so long as evil shall be the oppo- 
site of good. Lucifer, though he wisely disclaimed being a sharer, 
any more than a servant of God's power; yet seems to have not had 
the sense to know, that a servant, though an unwilling and not hon- 
oured one, he must be. He was not one of those to whom it would 
be said, " well done good and faithful servant." He very truly says, 
he dwells apart : he might have added as far asunder as Hell 
from Heaven. But he exults that he is great, and has many wor- 
shippers and will have more. Yet, is greatness, without goodness, 
the procurer of happiness? And who are they who are content 
with the first without the last ? They must resemble Lucifer. For 
none, but the wicked, are unhappy : " Acquaint thyself with God 
and be at rest." And is not true rest true happiness ? Is not that 
the last end of Socrates too ? and of Plato ? and of Cicero ? And 
of whom not ? But is not Lucifer's claim to greatness, and to 



138 CAIX, A MYSTERY, 

many worshippers, a sufficiently clear indication of his being the 
very " tyrant" he could not prove his maker ? For, if I mistake 
not, the love of greatness and of rule, are of the essence of even 
human tyranny. Was a good man ever known to seek it ? True, 
on good men it may be conferred by Providence, for the good of 
others. He invites (or bids) Cain to be among the first of his slavish 
worshippers. Who then would belong to Lucifer ? But I will not 
be too severe. Presently his information, if it do not deserve our 
thanks, must ensure our acknowledgment of the service he has ren- 
dered by it to mankind. The succeeding parley is therefore of some 
importance. 



CAIN. 

I never 

As yet have bow'd unto my father's God, 
Although my brother Abel oft implores 
That I would join with him in sacrifice: 
Why should I bow to thee? 

LUCIFER. 

Hast thou ne'er bow'd 
To him 1 

CAIN. 

Have I not said it! need I say it ? 
Could not thy mighty knowledge teach thee that ? 

LUCIFER. 
He who bows not to him has bow'd to me \ 




WITH NOTES. 139 



CAIN. 

But I will bend to neither. 

LUCIFER. 

Ne'er the less, 

Thou art my worshipper : not worshipping 
Him makes thee mine the same. 

Note 23. 

Cain keeps hold of some sort of respect from us, by holding 
fast his own independency of spirit, in hesitating still to worship 
Lucifer, any more than he had worshipped Jehovah, which he had 
refused to do in spite of every solicitation. And when his potent 
friend interrogates him if he really had not bowed to Jehovah, and 
Cain expresses some displeasure at the apparent doubt entertained 
of his veracity, he replies, " Have I not said it ?" And he speaks 
somewhat slightingly of Lucifer's mighty knowledge, if it could not 
teach him that. Lucifer now however, I had almost said, is for 
making mankind great amends, at least amends in a great degree, 
by telling Cain (who, sturdy as he was, would not bend, neither to 
Jehovah nor to him) that he who had not bowed to Jehovah, had 
bowed to Lucifer; for that not worshipping Jehovah made him 
Lucifer's, no less than if he had externally paid him divine homage. 

Now, if this be not giving a most important admonition to 
man, I know not what is. Here is presented to the consideration 
of every individual the great question Whose worshipper he is ? 
and consequently, by that test, What is to be his condition through- 
out eternity ? It is in vain to contend with Lucifer on this point. 
God is on his side : his word declares it ; " He that is not with 
me is against me." There are but two parties ; God himself, and 



140 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

he, whom God, for wise and good purposes, permits, hitherto, to 
be " the foe of God and man." He that is not for one, is for the 
other ; and he, that is for one, is against the other. We are God's, 
if we worship him : Lucifer's, if we worship him. What then is 
worship, that we may know whose we are ? If we ask man what is 
worship towards God, he will say, an act of religious reverence. 
But he will go no further. And if man appear in outward and 
apparently reverential adoration of his maker, he is deemed by 
man a worshipper of God. But if we enquire of God, in his word, 
what his worship is, he replies " My son, give me thine heart :" 
"In vain, do they honour me with their lips, while their hearts 
are far from me." If we ask of man the meaning of giving our 
heart to a fellow mortal any of the charities of life none are at 
a loss to know the answer. Do all, then, who appear in outward 
worship, deal thus with God ? if they do, they are his worshippers ; 
if not, they do not worship him. What then says Lucifer ? that 
they worship him: and revelation confirms this truth. The discourse 
then proceeds ; and when Lucifer has told Cain that not worship- 
ping God he becomes Lucifer's, Cain enquires 



C.AIN. 

And what is that? 

LUCIFER. 
Thou 'It know here and hereafter. 

CAIN. 

Let me but 
Be taught the mystery of my being. 



WITH NOTES. 141 

LUCIFER. 

Follow 
Where I will lead thee. 

CAIN. 

But I must retire 
To till the earth for I had promised 

LUCIFER. 

What ? 

CAIN. 

To cull some first fruits. 

LUCIFER. 

Why! 

CAIN. 

To offer up 
With Abel on an altar. 

LUCIFER. 

Saidst thou not 
Thou ne'er hadst bent to him who made thee ? 

CAIN. 

Yes 

But Abel's earnest prayer has wrought upon me ; 
The offering is more his than mine and Adah 



142 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

Why dost thou hesitate ? 

CAIN. 

She is my sister, 

Born on the same day, of the same womb ; and 
She wrung from me, with tears, this promise ; and 
Rather than see her weep, I would, methlnks, 
Bear all and worship aught. 

LUCIFER. 

Then follow me ! 

CAIN. 
I will. 

Note 24. 

The first observable particular, in the above portion of this con- 
ference, is Lucifer's answer to Cain's enquiry what it was to be his 1 
Lucifer does not venture to tell him, but gravely informs him he 
shall know, not only here, but hereafter. That hereafter indeed is 
big with interest ; but at present, Lucifer wisely declines unfolding 
the secrets of his prison-house. Cain however appears willing to 
go all lengths, if he might but know the mystery of his being. And 
what was that? Was there any greater mystery in the being of 
Cain, than there is in the being of man now ? And what is that ? 
Why, clearly this ; that man (as informed by evidence that reason 
forbids to be contested) is the creature of an incomprehensible supe- 
rior being of infinite power and goodness and wisdom : that lie 



WITH NOTES. 143 

has an immortal and immaterial, as well as animal nature ; the 
former of which is capable of, and destined to, a happy or miserable, 
and eternal, existence after the dissolution of the latter : that the 
quality of such existence depends upon his use, or abuse, or neglect of 
the gifts of his creator, among which is the revelation of his will and 
of the relation in which his creature man stands to him. This is 
the mystery of the being of Cain, of which, although he had not the 
written evidence above adverted to, yet he certainly had sufficient 
other evidence (moral evidence) arising from the works of nature, 
his own existence, and the testimony of his father and his mother. 
Those whom what is usually allowed to be moral evidence will not 
satisfy, nothing can : they choose to be dissatisfied. It must how- 
ever be admitted, that whether Cain were satisfied on the point of 
his mysterious being or not, he was decided on another point ; which 
was, that he had made his election of Lucifer as his confidential 
guide, in opposition to his maker. This Lucifer saw, and therefore 
boldly bids Cain to follow where he would lead him ; as if he had 
said " and then I will shew thee what thou wantest to see the 
mystery of thy being." This produces an explanation; for, on 
Cain's intimation that he must retire to keep an appointment for 
offering up some first fruits, Lucifer reminds him of having declared 
he had never bent to him that made him : and the subsequent ac- 
knowledgments which Cain makes of his insincere acts of external 
worship (worship as he terms it) are painful ; especially when he 
expresses a willingness for the gratification of others however re- 
garded by him, to worship, as he terms it, aught. This was what 
Lucifer was evidently aiming at. Cain had told him he cared not 
whom or what he worshipped ; for the sake of pleasing them he 
wished to please. He was therefore in Lucifer's opinion so devoted 
to, or at any rate fit for, him, that he confidently tells Cain 
again to follow him, and Cain, as readily, consents. The entrance 
of Adah stops them awhile. 



144 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Enter ADAH. 

ADAH. 

My brother, I have come for thee ; 
It is our hour of rest and joy and we 
Have less without thee. Thou hast labour'd not 
This morn ; but I have done thy task : the fruits 
Are ripe and glowing as the light which ripens : 
Come away. 

CAIN. 
See'st thou not ? 

ADAH. 

I see an angel ; 

We have seen many : will he share our hour 
Of rest ? he is welcome. 

CAIX. 

But he is not like 
The angels we have seen. 

ADAH. 

Are there, then, others ? 

But he is welcome, as they were : they deign'd 
To be our guests will he ? 

CAIN. (To Lucifer,) 
Wilt thou 1 



\VITH NOTES. 145 

LUCIFER. 

I ask 
Tliee to be mine. 

CAIN. 
I must away with him. 

ADAH. 
And leave us ? 

CAIN. 

Ay. 

ADAH. 

And me ? 

CAIN. 

Beloved Adah ! 

ADAH. 

Let me go with thee. 

LUCIFER. 

No, she must not. 

ADAH. 

Who 
Art thou that steppest between heart and heart ? 



146 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

He is a god. 

ADAH. 

How know'st thou ? 



CAIN. 

He speaks like 



A god. 



ADAH. 

So did the serpent, and it lied. 

LUCIFER. 

Thou errest, Adah ! was not the tree that 
Of knowledge? 

ADAH. 

Ay to our eternal sorrow. 

LUCIFER. 

And yet thai grief is knowledge so he lied not : 
And if he did betray you, 't was with truth ; 
And truth in its own essence cannot be 
But good. 

ADAH. 

But all we know of it has gather'd 
Evil on ill : expulsion from our home, 



WITH NOTES. 

Aud dread, aud toil, and sweat, and heaviness ; 
Remorse of that which was and hope of that 
Which cometh not. Cain ! walk not with this spirit, 
Bear with what we have borne, and love me I 
Love thee. 

LUCIFER. 

More than thy mother aud thy sire 1 ? 

ADAH. 
I do. Is that a sin, too ? 

LUCIFER. 

No, not yet ; 
It one day will be in your children. 

ADAH. 

What ! 
Must not my daughter love her brother Enoch ? 

LUCIFER. 

Not as thou lovest Cain. 

ADAH. 

Oh, my God ! 

Shall they not love and bring forth things that love 
Out of their love 1 ? have they not drawn their milk 
Out of tliis bosom ? was not he, their father, 
Born of the same sole womb, in the same hour 

L2 



148 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

With me? did we not love each other? and 
In multiplying our being multiply 
Things which will love each other as we love 
Them ? And as I love thee, my Cain ! go not 
Forth with this spirit ; he is not of ours. 

LUCIFER. 

The sin I speak of is not of my making, 
And cannot be a sin in you whate'er 
It seem in those who will replace ye in 
Mortality. 

ADAH. 

What is the sin which is not 
Sin in itself? Can circumstance make sin 
Or virtue? if it doth, we are the slaves 
Of 

Mote 25. 

The character of Adah, as portrayed by the author throughout, 
is generally an amiable one, although, as she lived so long ago, we 
must occasionally take leave to differ from lier, and shew her errors, 
however venial under her circumstances, when they occur. Her first 
salutation to Cain, in reference to their usual mid-day recess, and the 
preparation of the fruits for the intended offering, must be allowed 
its due appropriateness and beauty : she therefore bids Cain come 
away. She seems, in her attention to Cain, to have overlooked 
Lucifer, to whom therefore Cain directs her attention : " See'st 
thou not ?" She replies coolly, she sees an angel ; as if no uncom- 
mon thing to her : for, adds she, " we have seen many :" and she 



WITH NOTES. 149 

then, with equal simplicity and hospitality, invites Lucifer, through 
Cain, to partake of their simple refreshments. Adah's simplicity 
and all-absorbing affection for Cain, was indeed such, that she was 
not struck, even then, with the difference (for we must suppose she 
had found at least a moment to glance one hasty look at him) be- 
tween the sadder, and sterner, and sorrowful aspect of Lucifer, and 
the more joyous and pleasing countenances of the heavenly messen- 
gers she had been accustomed to. Cain therefore points out to her 
his unlikeness to them, meaning, I suppose, that Lucifer had the 
bearing of a spirit of superior order. Adah says she was not aware 
there were other angels than such as she had seen, but still persists 
in inviting Lucifer to be their guest. The continued colloquy with 
Adah is very much in her favour in point of character ; especially her 
indignation at Lucifer's apparent interference between her and Cain, 
and her not giving him credit for being a god, but telling Cain, that 
if he spoke like one, as Cain said he did, "so did the serpent, 
and it lied." This looks very much like Adah's having a notion of 
the snake's being inhabited, and actuated. And such Lucifer seems 
to have thought was her idea ; for he immediately, as before, starts 
in the snake's defence, by telling Adah she erred ; for that the tree 
was the tree of knowledge : or rather asking her if it was not ; and 
that rather sarcastically. Now comes our first apology for Adah. 
She was wrong, certainly, in her answering Lucifer in exactly such 
terms ; for, however the violation of the tree was to have been la- 
mented, yet we have plentifully seen, and shall see further, that 
eternal sorrow was by no means the inevitable effect of the tree being 
that of knowledge, as Lucifer always affects to call it, in odium of 
the Almighty, instead of the knowledge of good and evil : a ma- 
terial difference, if accurately followed up. Adah's information 
however respecting the means of avoiding the eternal sorrow she 
spoke of, was limited, without a doubt, and perhaps had not much 
impressed her mind . But Lucifer must again at every turn defend 
the serpent ; and lie now repeats, that he lied not ; (to Eve, in say- 
ing that she should obtain knowledge from that fruit ;) for that her 



150 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

very grief was knowledge. Perhaps it was : yet not very desirable I 
presume, generally speaking at least. So that, adds the " Master 
of Spirits," "if he did betray you, it was with the truth." Espe- 
cial comfort for Adah, and for all, who, like Eve, listen to Lucifer ! 
But now comes a sentence in a kind of logical form, or rather per- 
haps metaphysical, that " truth in its own essence cannot be but 
good." Without all question, truth, in the abstract idea of it, is es- 
sentially good : for it is the contrary of falsehood, which is essenti- 
ally evil. But the abstract idea of any being, or quality, is one thing ; 
and its practical application, another. And what is there, which, being 
good in itself essentially, may not become evil from the mode of its ap- 
plication or use ? If Lucifer therefore had said that the particular 
truth which the serpent spake to Eve, had been a good truth, or 
good in its own essence, he might have been well contradicted. But 
not having said that, Lucifer in effect said nothing worth saying, 
except as calculated to mislead Adah ; as he had before misled her 
mother, who too readily gave way to her inclinations which fell in 
with his " glozing lies." The serpent's truth therefore, so far from 
being good in its own essence, was exceeding bad in its own 
essence, being adapted to produce evil, and evil only. 

Adah, in her reply to Lucifer's metaphysical and deceptive 
jargon, still requires allowance lo be made for her, though her error 
must again be shewn. For she had none of those causes of lament- 
ation she here expresses. She feels more in Cain's spirit, and mat 
which Lucifer had infected her with, than her own, which has been 
and will be seen, to be of a better kind. Such is the effect of bad 
moral associations. It is true she was not aware whom it was she 
had been conversing with and exposing herself to ; though she seems 
to have discerned enough of his character to excite her suspicion. 
She speaks of the effect of that knowledge of truth, which Lucifer 
had given to the family, as being productive only of evil on ill. 
That was correct, certainly ; since the ill %vas, her mother's trans- 
gression, and evil gathered on it no doubt. But as to expulsion 
from her home, Eden had been no home to her : nor do her parents, 



WITH NOTES. 151 

whose it had been, appear to have so regretted it ; enjoying still, as 
they did, the mercies of their creator, in their new abodes. What 
did she dread? What toil, sweat, heaviness? This is all mere 
Cain-ism, not Adah-ism. Nor was it Adam's language. As to re- 
morse, she had no occasion for any, if she had committed no crime. 
Perhaps by remorse she means regret at the lost enjoyment of Eden. 
As to hope of that which cometh not : what such hope had she ? 
She appears to have had little if any thing to hope or fear. And if 
she meant to describe the condition of human nature more generally, 
in black colours, still, the attributes she ascribes to it belong to none, 
but such as neglect moral duty, and the over-balancing advantages 
of an all-healing revelation. She makes amends however by her 
concluding affectionate address to Cain, and her apparently suspi- 
cious regard of Lucifer, with whom she requests Cain not to walk. 
Yet what she says about the burthen they had borne and were to bear, 
is certainly exaggerated, as far as we can judge of the probable cir- 
cumstances of their situation. The ensuing conversation, elicited 
by Lucifer, is very Luciferian, and evidently intended by him to 
excite discontent and unhappiness. It relates to divine arrangements 
in the progress of mankind, relating to family relationships, which 
arrangements, although not obtaining in the very first period of the 
human race, yet have since been found and acknowledged by man- 
kind themselves, to be essentially conducive to their best interests. 
Adah, however, instinctively as it were, again begs of Cain to avoid 
Lucifer, and " go not forth with this spirit, he is not of our's." This 
induces from Lucifer another of his Luciferian remarks, more of a 
moral, than metaphysical kind. He turns preacher, and says what is, 
and what is not, sin ; he, the very root of sin itself all sin ! But this 
again draws from Adah (for being once in his vortex she cannot es- 
cape) a kind of anxious question or two : " What is the sin which 
is not sin in itself? Can circumstance make sin or virtue?" As 
Lucifer did not condescend to resolve Adah's enquiries, we will 
endeavour to do it ; for it ought to be done. As to the first, there 
can, of course, be no sin that is not sin in itself; because, whatever 



152 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

is, is so in itself, be it what it may. If a thing be not a thing in 
itself, how can it be at all ? The useful question is, what is, or, is 
not, sin ? As to her other enquiry, there is also no doubt that cir- 
cumstance can make sin, and perhaps virtue too. As to its making 
sin, we must suppose that the term sin is meant to apply, not to 
offences against human, but against divine laws. And then, ques- 
tionless, an act may be in itself indifferent, and therefore, not sin- 
ful, if not forbidden by the Almighty. If it be so, it then becomes 
sinful ; because sin consists, as against God, in the transgression of 
his law. This will hold, so long as moral government be not explo- 
ded as between God and his creature man. Sin is therefore a relative 
thing, and can only exist where there is a governor, and the governed. 
For if there were only one man in existence, and he without any 
moral governor, there could be no such thing as sin ; for there would 
be no law, and consequently no offence by its transgression. The 
same reasoning applies to human government also. No act is an 
offence, until the law has made it so. With respect to circumstance 
making virtue, it is less material ; but probably there are many acts 
which would be indifferent, and even wrong, in themselves, abstract- 
edly speaking, but which circumstance might convert into virtue. 
Abstractedly speaking, it is wrong for one man to kill another : but 
suppose an individual hazards his own life, by killing unavoidably, in 
opposing or apprehending, a murderer : in such a case I suppose 
that the circumstance would make virtue. But here again Adah is 
rather in fault ; for she says that if it were as has just been stated, 

then they were slaves of : what she meant exactly to have said 

we need not enquire, as Lucifer stopped her. 

LUCIFER. 

Higher things than ye are slaves : and higher 
Than them or ye would be so, did they not 
Prefer an independency of torture 
To the smooth agonies of adulation 



M'lTH NOTES. 153 

11 hymus and harpings, and self-seeking prayers 
To that which is omnipotent, because 
It is omnipotent, and not from love, 
But terror and self-hope. 



Must be all goodness. 



ADAH. 

Omnipotence 

LUCIFER. 

Was it so in Eden ? 

ADAH. 



ADAH. 

Fiend ! tempt me not with beauty ; thou art fairer 
Thau was the serpent, and as false. 

LUCIFER. 

As true. 

Ask Eve, your mother: bears' 6he not the knowledge 
Of good and evil '? 

Note 26. 

There is no difficulty in recollecting, that the higher things tlian 
man, whom Lucifer above speaks of to Adah, as being slaves, are 
the seraphs, of whom something has been already said, in Note 13 ; 
in addition to which, it can only be necessary to advert to the reason- 
ableness of supposing, that intelligent creatures of the seraphs' nature 
would be so far from being slaves, (which of course implies unwilling 
servitude,) that in them, the adoration of God must necessarily be 
volition itself; or, in Lucifer's language, volition in its very essence : 
and if volition consists in the power of choice exerted, then, without 



154 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

a notable confusion of terms and ideas, how can that be slavery, or 
the seraphs slaves ? But, if Lucifer will have it, that to act, though 
most spontaneously, yet from the influence of motive, be slavery, 
then what being is not a slave ? Must not Lucifer himself be in 
slavery ? Does not he act from the motive and influence of malice ? 
Yet would he himself acknowledge himself not free ? He says none 
are free but himself. And, (if we may so speak with reverence,) is 
not the Supreme Being himself a slave ? for does not he act from the 
motive and influence of perfect goodness ? Can it be conceived of 
any intelligent being to act without motive ? To act from motive, 
then, does not imply that the agent is not free, if freedom consists in 
exemption from slavery ; or free will in the power of determining our 
6wn actions. For we may freely determine our own actions, though 
under the influence of motive. But should it be still objected, that 
these views of die influence of motives, make man the creature of ne- 
cessity arising from motive; and that therefore, if his moral conduct be 
thus necessitated, he ceases to be responsible, because no longer pos- 
sessing free will ; the satisfactory answer seems to be, that, however 
inexplicable, yet in fact necessity and volition do so exist together, as 
to leave in man that freedom and free will at any rate, which renders 
him consciously, a responsible, moral agent. Assuming that the revela- 
tion before spoken of is authentic, and that it declares only what is true; 
it may be affirmed, that these conclusions are sanctioned and esta- 
blished by it. But some say, this system deprives man of merit; for 
where there is not perfect freedom and free will there can be no merit ; 
and if no merit, where the incitement to virtuous action? But what 
is the merit, that those, who reason so, require ? Is it the merit aris- 
ing from their being, or imagining themselves, or being by others 
imagined, to be, independent creatures ? But can we conceive of 
an independent creature? Is not that a contradiction in terms? A 
self-destroying proposition ? Who is or can be independent besides 
God ? Can there be two independent beings ? Or, if not, can it 
be shewn that God does not govern, or direct, or control, his moral 
creature man? Or are we Epicureans, discharging the Almighty 



WIT1I NOTES. 155 

from the continued and incessant care and burthen of governing his 
own creatures ? But can any thing be burthensome to infinite power, 
and infinite wisdom, the capacity of perpetual, unlimited, instanta- 
neous, and simultaneous perception ? Or is the idea, of the care- 
lesness of God for man, agreeable to that revelation which has been 
spoken of? Or can it be shewn that God does not so govern man 
through the medium of influential motives? And does not the 
commonest experience inform us, that motive and volition are con- 
sistent ? Will not the offering of an orange to a child, induce volun- 
tary motion towards the offerer. Will he not open his little eyes and 
little mouth, and stretch out his little arms, and, if he may, put 
his little feet in motion ? And do we not in that instance see motive, 
or necessity, united with volition ? Can the child resist ? But man, 
it is said, has reason which the child has not. But is not reason 
swayed by motive? Does reason even act but from motives, of 
which indeed she judges before she acts? Cannot God, without 
violating man's free will, cause -him to see a particular object in a 
particular point of view ; and lias God divested himself of the power 
even of influencing man's reason itself to approve that object ? And 
can God do wrong, or evil ? Is not God universally allowed (except 
by him who hath said in his heart, and perhaps with his tongue, 
that " there is no God") that the Divine Being is necessarily self-exist- 
ent ? Is not God then under a necessity of existing ? Is he not 
(speaking reverentially) under the necessity of speaking truth, and 
truth only. " Can he lie ?" Is he not under equal necessity of not 
denying himself? " Can God deny himself? " Can God act other- 
wise than from the motive of perfect goodness, combined, indeed, 
with the prior one of advancing his own glory in the manifestation of 
that very goodness ? And will man arrogate to himself to be a less 
necessarily-acting creature than his maker ? What does such a senti- 
ment lead to, but, either opposition to God, or a denial of his exist- 
ence, his power, his wisdom, or his goodness? If these things 
be so, then the seraphs are not "slaves," though acting from the 
motives, and influence, of their nature. 



156 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

But Lucifer does not say tilings by halves. He therefore tells 
Adah there are " higher tilings" still than either man or seraphs. By 
these he must mean archangels, and that he and his associates were 
of that class, if not superior even to those of them who kept their 
first estate. But that superiority he does not nor can prove. Neither 
does scripture appear to countenance it. But if they were so, the 
superiority was lost. Neither can he prove nor does it appear proba- 
ble, even that archangels are higher than seraphs ; that is, in nature ; 
though, in point of heavenly harmony and order, there may be dif- 
ference in degrees, in some particular respects. He then says, that 
these higher things would be slaves also, (meaning himself and 
his rebellious crew,) did they not " prefer an independency of torture 
to the smooth agonies of adulation in hymns and harpings," and so 
forth, to the end of his tirade, every member of which must be consi- 
dered in its order, for it is important to man. His " independency of 
torture" may pass with little notice, if independency and preference 
consist in the want of power to second the will to resist ; and if tor- 
ture can be ascribed to any but to a " tyrant," which, we have seen, 
God is not. Then, as to the " smooth agonies of adulation" the 
terms are I own, to me, incomprehensible, because, as I conceive, 
contradictory. For if agony means excessive pain, great distress of 
body or mind, then what rational idea can we form of the smoot hness 
of those sensations ? But at any rate we have seen they cannot be- 
long to the seraphs in question ; for they enjoy the perpetual reverse of 
such sensations. And as to adulation, that also cannot be ascribed 
to the seraphs, if adulation mean flattery, and if flattery mean false 
praise, or praise unmerited ; because their praise of God, who will 
say can be false or unmerited ? God can and does merit, though 
man, strictly speaking, cannot and does not. Besides, adulation 
implies insincerity. But insincerity cannot consist with either volun- 
tary words or voluntary actions, wherein the agent means what his 
words express and his actions imply. But that must be so where 
such agent acts according to his nature, and has no motive for dissim- 
ulation. Such are the seraphs as has been seen. That the seraphs do, 



WITH NOTES. 157 

indeed, hymn and harp, the scriptures teach. And even on earth, 
many mortals in their little way love harmony and singing. The next 
object of Lucifer's animadversion is, "self-seeking prayer." If he 
mean to speak of prayer in Heaven, it shews his ignorance and ab- 
surdity ; for in that region of fulness of bliss, and destitution of all 
want, (if I may so speak,) prayer can have no place ; for all is praise. 
If he mean to apply "self-seeking prayer," covertly, (for Lucifer 
speaks often more covertly than openly,) to Adam and his race, he 
must then be asked, what can prayer be but " self-seeking" in its nature 
as between God and man ; for what is prayer but the expression of 
desire ; and does not desire arise from a sense of want ? And are 
not want and desire of the very essence of so needy a creature as man 
is ? And has not the beneficent creator of man invited him to ex- 
press to himself those wants and desires for the very purposes of gra- 
tifying them; and thereby keeping in existence an intercourse of 
goodness on the one hand and grateful feeling on the other ? And is 
gratitude contemptible ? But, adds Lucifer, this " self-seeking prayer 
to the Omnipotent is only because he is omnipotent." To what else, 
but omnipotence, can it be right or profitable for any being to ad- 
dress his prayer for the supply of innumerable wants? Still Lucifer 
says, it is "not from love." Lucifer talk of love ! The very attribute 
of which he is most eminently destitute and ignorant ! However, 
we will bear with, yet sift his meaning. He says, " not from love, 
but from terror, and self-hope." Now it must be confessed, in all rea- 
son, I think, that the sensations of a petitioner to the throne of Hea- 
ven must depend upon his state of mind and the object of his sup- 
plications. If under a grateful sense of God's past and present good- 
ness he still prays for its continuance and increase ; then, how is it 
possible to disassociate the idea of love from such supplication ? But 
if the prayer be, for pardon and forgiveness of sin, under a sense of 
guilt, and of God's infinite majesty, and purity, and hatred of ini- 
quity ; then, if the supplicant never knew God's love before, it is not 
to be denied, that his prayer must not only be very " self-seeking," but 
also spring from a greater or lesser degree of terror. What Lucifer 



1 68 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

means by his last expression, "self-hope," I hardly see, unless he mean, 
the selfishness of hoping for an answer to our supplications. After all 
however, could one believe that Lucifer could possibly mean well to 
man, one would not withhold from him our acknowledgement of 
having here given to man at least some useful hints, that might easily 
be improved. But we may learn even from an enemy. 

Let us now attend to the propriety of Adah's reply to Lucifer's 
multifarious comments on subjects in which he does not seem very 
accurately versed. She says, "omnipotence must be all goodness." 
Now although in a former note we admit that power and goodness do 
not necessarily go together, according even to Cain's own reasoning, 
yet it has been endeavoured to be shewn, that in the instance of the 
Jehovah, of the seraphs, and of mankind, those attributes do actually, 
and necessarily, unite in him. We next have to admire her noble 
reply to Lucifer's taunting question "Was it so in Eden?" She de- 
precates his snares, and undauntedly tells him (Cain standing absorbed, 
we must suppose, in strange feelings) that he is " as raise as, though 
fairer than, the serpent." See, now again, Luciferian enjoyment of 
misery in others, of his own procuring ; how he " tortures" poor 
Adah with referring to the serpent's truth, as exemplified in her mo- 
ther's mournful knowledge of good and evil. [God's having educed 
good out of that evil, is another matter quite.] Unhappy Adah was 
now completely overcome, nor can her reply be considered as alto- 
gether right, yet entitled to our indulgence. It now follows : 



ADAH. 

Oh, my mother ! thou 

Hast pluck'd a fruit more fatal to thine offspring 
Than to thyself; thou at the least hast past 
Thy youth in Paradise, in innocent 
And happy intercourse with happy spirits ; 
But we, thy children, ignorant of Eden, 



WITH NOTES. 159 

Are girt about by demons, wbo assume 

The words of God, and tempt us with our own 

Dissatisfied and curious thoughts as thou 

Wert work'd on by the snake, in thy most flush'd 

And heedless, harmless wantonness of bliss. 

I cannot answer this immortal thing 

Which stands before me ; I cannot abhor him ; 

I look upon him with a pleasing fear, 

And yet I fly not from him : in his eye 

There is a fastening attraction which 

Fixes my fluttering eyes on his ; my heart 

Beats quick ; he awes me, and yet draws me near, 

Nearer and nearer: Cain Cain save me from him ! 



Note 27. 

This lamentation of Adah must be a little considered. In the 
first place, she is certainly wrong in ascribing to her mother an act 
more fatal to her offspring than to herself; for they were all upon an 
exact equality, except that her children had not the pain of expulsion 
from Eden. It does not seem likely she passed much of her youth in 
Eden, since it is clear she left it before the birth of Cain. With re- 
spect to Adam's, and her intercourse there with happy angelic spirits, 
it seems from scripture to be highly probable. Adah's comparison of 
such intercourse with that she and Cain now had with Lucifer, is 
striking, and very courageous, as being made in Lucifer's presence, 
whom she seems to consider as a legion of demons in himself. The 
" dissatisfied and curious thoughts" which Adah so ingenuously con- 
fesses, and with which he tempted them,were more Cain's than Adah's. 
Her confession of inability to answer Lucifer is very natural. We have 
endeavoured, and shall endeavour to answer him in her stead, as 
Cain does not seem disposed to help her. The "fastening attraction," 



160 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

which Adah ascribes to Lucifer, tends to remind us of the difficulty 
there is in escaping from snares and evils into which we have suffered, 
or may suffer, our propensities to lead us, without due consideration 
of their perplexing, and often disastrous and irremediable conse- 
quences. The rattlesnake was probably in Lord Byron's mind when 
he described Lucifer's magic influence over poor Adah. 



CAIN. 
What dreads ray Adah ? this is no ill spirit. 

AD'AH. 

He is not God nor God's: I have beheld 
The cherubs and the seraphs ; he looks not 
Like them. 

CAIN. 

But there are spirits loftier still 
The archangels. 

LUCIFER. 
And still loftier than the archangels. 

ADAH. 

Ay but not blessed. 

LVCIFEK. 

If the blessedness 
Consists in slavery no. 






WITH NOTES. 161 



ADAH. 

I have heard it said, 

The seraphs love most cherubim know most 
And this should be a cherub since he loves not. 

LUCIFER. 

And if the higher knowledge quenches love, 
What must he be you cannot love when known ? 
Since the all-knowing cherubim love least, 
The seraphs' love can be but ignorance : 
That they are not compatible, the doom 
Of thy fond parents, for their daring, proves. 
Choose betwixt love and knowledge since there is 
No other choice : your sire hath chosen already ; 
His worship is but fear. 



JVote 28. 

Cain had a much better opinion of his new acquaintance than 
Adah had. And upon his assuring her she need not fear, for that he 
was no ill spirit, Adah, resorting to her knowledge of cherubs and 
seraphs, declared, that as he looked not like them, he was not God's. 
And when Cain, who felt interested in the dignity of the " Master of 
Spirits,'' adverts to there being loftier spirits still than those Adah had 
mentioned, viz. the archangels, Lucifer, not to compromise his own 
grandeur by silence, interposes, by hinting at his superiority even to 
the archangels. That seems to be a matter on which there is a diffe- 
rence of opinion ; but it cannot be material to man, now. At any 
rate, Adah, apparently suspecting Lucifer's self-exaltation, retorts 
upon him, that, admitting such loftier ones to be, yet they were not 



162 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

" blessed." As if (with others since) she thought exahedness without 
blessedness not particularly desirable. But Lucifer, in his manner, 
takes advantage of Adah's simplicity, by again insinuating, that the 
blessed spirits, alluded to by her, were in a state of slavery ; for he 
acknowledges, that he and his fellow rebels were not blessed like 
Adah's cherubs and seraphs, if blessedness consisted in slavery. But 
that point has been recently considered. 

Now comes a sad error in Adah ; yet a venial one ; for she did 
not, as Lucifer did, pretend to logic and metaphysics. But what she 
unhappily says, gives such occasion of perverted reasoning to Lucifer, 
that it must be well considered. Adah observes, she has heard it 
said, " the seraphs love most cherubim know most ;" and she then 
concludes Lucifer to be a cherub, "since he loves not." Adah's 
mistake therefore is, in concluding Lucifer to be a cherub, because 
he loved not ; as if cherubs loved not, because they knew most ; 
which was not what she had heard. What she had heard was, that 
cherubs indeed knew most, but not that their knowing most 
occasioned them not to love at all. Of course the love here meant is 
love to God. That the cherubs do in fact love God less than the 
seraphs do, is by no means certain, nor is there apparently any good 
reason for supposing it. And who has been in Heaven and returned 
again to tell us ? Nor is it revealed. But at any rate there was no 
ground for concluding the cherubs did not love at all, merely because 
they knew most, which perhaps, in some respects they do, as being 
most intent upon the divine nature and proceedings, and taking plea- 
sure in the contemplation of them. But what would our great philo- 
sophers, Bacon, and Hale, and Locke, and Newton, and Boyle, 
and Haller, and Boerhaave, and multitudes besides, say, were they 
to be told, that because they knew most of God and his works, there- 
fore they loved him not ? Would they not say it was a most incon- 
clusive falsehood and slander ? This therefore was a grand mistake 
of Adah's, and gave Lucifer an opportunity of sophisticating and of 
puzzling her again, as we shall see. For no sooner had Adah pro- 
nounced her unfortunate conclusion, that he must be a cherub since 



WITH NOTES. 163 

he loved not, than he sets about arguing upon her error, as his found- 
ation; assuming, or at least supposing, that the higher knowledge 
quenches love; a merely gratuitous, general, position, which was 
neither granted, nor was true ; but as false as Adah's own unlucky 
conclusion ; or, if allowed at all, it must be with much modification. 
For fraud, like Lucifer himself, ever affects to deal in generals. 
Higher knowledge then, does not, necessarily and universally, quench 
love, as Lucifer would infer ; for it would not in respect of a good 
being's knowledge of a good being ; although it would, in respect of 
a good being's knowledge of an evil being : and so it would in respect 
of an evil being's knowledge of a good being ; if an evil being be 
capable of loving any being at all. For good cannot love evil, nor 
evil good. But good loves good, and evil hates it. God and che- 
rubs are good. Therefore supposing the cherubim to have the higher 
knowledge of God ; that higher knowledge would not quench their 
love of God : it would rather increase it, from the obvious nature of 
good, and of good beings. Lucifer's next question, or conclusion, 
therefore, being drawn from the false premises before noticed, falls to 
the ground of course, when applied to God in the way of slanderous 
insinuation, viz. " what must he be you cannot love when known ?" 
We will, however, though not obliged, take the pains to answer that 
question. Whom does he mean, in the first place, by " you ?" 
whom you cannot love when known ? I suppose he means, not Cain 
and Adah merely, but all beings indefinitely, by that collective term 
" you." At any rate, he means to puzzle and confound. We must 
therefore, as usual, try to untie and separate his artful but disingenu- 
ous enquiry, or insinuated position, by replying, discriminately, 
that he, whom, when known by a good being, that good being can- 
not love, must be evil ; because good beings love all but evil ; and it 
is not in the nature of things that they can love evil. Therefore good 
beings knowing Luciferfor instance, cannot love him. Again,he, whom, 
when known by an evil being, that evil being, Lucifer for instance, 
cannot love, must be good ; because although evil beings hate all 
tilings, yet they hate what is good when known to be so, supremely. 

M 2 



164 CAIN, A MYSTF.RY, 

God therefore is not that being who, as Lucifer would aspersingly 
insinuate, cannot be loved when known, at least by good beings ; for 
they cannot but love God : and as to God's being him whom, when 
known by evil beings, those evil beings cannot love ; to that position 
we object not, for the reasons given ; but it proves that God is good. 

Lucifer's next assertion is, that since the all-knowing cherubim 
love least, the seraphs' love can be but ignorance. But let us try again 
this artificer of fraud. He now, unblushingly and falsely assumes, 
first, that the cherubim are, not merely most knowing but aW-knowing, 
by way of making his argument more conclusive ; but his assump- 
tion is so far from having been granted, or admitted, that it is a thing 
impossible ; for none can be all-knowing but God himself alone. 
Yet allowing him to mean (for it is not easy to find out his meaning 
always) only that the cherubs are, as Adah has it, most knowing, i. e. 
as compared with the seraphs ; still, he then makes another ungranted 
assumption, viz. that the cherubs love least also ; for which we have 
seen, there is no ground ; but on the contrary, that the reverse should 
seem more probably the truth, since a good being's love of a good 
object must be in proportion to his knowledge of that object. But 
even if the cherubs were more knowing and less loving than the seraphs; 
yet, what has that to do with, or how does that warrant, his slander- 
ous conclusion of the seraphs' ignorance ? Have the premises and 
the conclusion a sufficient relation to each other to warrant the Luci- 
ferian syllogism from which that conclusion is drawn ? If not, the 
" Master of Spirits" is convicted of sophistry, which is a most detest- 
able engine, but of which I doubt we shall see much more before we 
are quit of this arch-deceiver. We will try his reasoning however, as 
well as we may. 

Does it then follow, that if the cherubs know most, and even 
love least too, as between them and the seraphs, that therefore the 
seraphs know nothing, or are positively ignorant ? May not one 
being, man for instance, know less than another, and yet know some- 
thing ; perhaps much 1 Certainly so, it will be replied. Coase- 
quently then the seraphs may, and doubtless do, for any thing Luci- 



WITH NOTES, 165 

fer has shewn to the contrary, know amply enough, even if less than 
the cherubs, to render their love to God highly intelligent and not 
ignorant. And if so, their love cannot be " but ignorance." Or did 
Lucifer merely intend, after all, in a fit of generosity (if that be pos- 
sible) and even against himself, to reflect upon that well-known, though 
far from universally-received, maxim, that " ignorance is the mother 
of devotion ?" If he did, we readily excuse him ; and agree with 
him, that that maxim is founded in vile deception, and is subversive 
of the spiritual rights, and destructive of the spiritual nature, of man. 
To whom does it belong ? 

His assertion, that die "doom," as he terms it, of Adam and 
Eve, proves that knowledge, and the love of God, are incompatible, 
is in the same generalizing, and deceptive strain. For he makes all 
knowledge to be thus incompatible ; whereas no knowledge is so, 
which is not the result of, or connected with, resistance to, or disre- 
gard of, the divine will ; and, let man himself say, if such knowledge 
must not, necessarily, be incompatible, and justly so, with the love 
of God ? Nay, would it not, under similar circumstances, be so even 
among men? But the knowledge of good and evil obtained by 
Adam and Eve, though obtained through too facile a transgression, 
was not the result of that determined, and hostile resistance to God's 
will, which is the effect of hatred like Lucifer's, and is therefore in- 
compatible with love. They fell, but without malice, and God dealt 
with them accordingly ; and so far was their fault or their sentence, 
from being incompatible with love to God, that, though their love 
might have been obscured for a time by fear or terror, as it well might ; 
yet there is every evidence, that God restored to them, perhaps the 
whole of the love they had for him even before their transgression. 
Such was God's goodness : " Man shall find grace ; the other, 
none." So runs the whole revelation. Lucifer therefore is equally 
false and inconclusive here also ; for it is clear that Adam and Eve 
loved their maker after their fall and " doom." But this is not to 
lead to presumtuous disobedience. There was therefore, no occasion 
for Lucifer to tell Adah and Cain to choose betwixt the love of God 



166 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

and knowledge, in that general way. He might have bid them choose 
between love and a deliberate and rebellious pursuit of knowledge 
expressly forbidden by their maker, which all knowledge by no means 
is. Such knowledge and love we grant are incompatible. As to 
there being no other choice, that idea of course connects with the other, 
and shares its fate; that is, amounts to nothing. And as to their sire's 
(Adam's) having chosen already ; he had not so chosen as to have 
made an irremediable breach between his maker and him ; for it was 
remedied even then ; though Lucifer, as usual, would lead their minds 
from that fact, and make the breach wider, and irreparable, if he could . 
The truth or falsehood of his concluding assertion, that Adam's 
worship was but fear, rests upon what is true worship of Almighty 
God ; whom it no less maligns than Adam, and man in him. We will 
endeavour to see how the matter really stands. His definition then, of 
the worship of God is, that it is " but fear." And we know, though 
he never tells explicitly what he means, that he does mean fear, not 
reverential, or filial, but that of a cruel tyrant, to whom the mere 
jexternal form of worship is paid, through dread and compulsion. 
But form is not substance, neither is a counterfeit the reality ; and it 
is with reality we have here to do. Fear, indeed, in a good sense, 
that is, either reverential, or filial, or both united, must, and will 
form part of the feelings of every rational creature towards God, if 
he have an adequate knowledge of the Divine Being, either from the 
light of nature, as it is called, or from express revelation. But in 
any other, that is in a bad sense, the worship of God is not. fear ; it 
is adoration; and adoration is reverence, high esteem, and love. 
Therefore the true worship of God is (not fear, but) reverence, high 
esteem, and love. It is, the habit and state of man's heart and mind 
towards his maker ; the sincere homage of the soul and spirit, under 
an appropriate sense, not of God's majesty only, but of his goodness. 
We are speaking of the real, [not fictitious, or superstitious,] worship, 
of sincere believers in God and in Jesus Christ, and of whom the 
apostle Paul was writing to Timothy when he said, " for God hath 
not given us the spirit of fear : but of power, and of love, and of a 



WITH NOTES. 167 

sound mind." Besides, a considerable, perhaps the chief part of the 
worship of God consists in praise and thanksgiving, gratitude, and 
asking favours ; but do any of these acts when sincere, (and if not 
sincere they are nothing ; but if sincere, do they or can they,) pro- 
ceed from fear? Is fear the impelling motive of those acts even 
among men ? Are not love and confidence rather the compounded 
motive ? If they do proceed from fear, that is slavish fear, they are 
not true worship, and are not the thing now defended against Luci- 
fer's aspersion. True worship knows no servile or terrifying, though 
it may and ought, a reverential and filial fear ; for the scriptures de- 
clare " perfect love eastern out all fear, because fear hath torment." 
And if Lucifer had read the Psalms of David, he would have seen 
that his worship was what we have been describing, and not base 
fear ; and that even when imploring forgiveness for heinous crimes. 
And the apostles are full of exhortations to true believers to draw near 
to God with boldness and confidence in their worship. Now how do 
boldness and confidence consist with slavish fear? Perhaps some 
may, and sincerely too, worship God, in greater and more erroneous 
fear than they ought ; but that is not chargeable upon their maker, 
but upon themselves, from various considerations. They have not 
as they should have done, " followed on to know the Lord :" had 
they done so, they would not be under the dominion of this Lucife- 
rian fear ; nor of any fear at all, but filial and reverential ; which is 
perfectly consistent with the " glorious liberty of the children of God." 
Lucifer, therefore, to say the least, shews his ignorance of this sub- 
ject ; an ignorance however, comprising gross untruth ; and, it 
must be feared, not unmixed with his usual malignancy, against his 
maker, and his maker's sincere worshippers ; unless he really meant 
his fulmination merely against formality. The following further con- 
versation then takes place, after Lucifer's telling Cain and Adah they 
must choose between fear and love. 



168 



ADAH. 

Oh, Cain ! choose love. 

CAIN. 

For thee, my Adah, I choose not it was 
Born with me but I love nought else. 

ADAH. 

Our parents 1 

CAIN. 

Did they love us when they snatch 'd from the tree 
That which hath driven us all from Paradise ? 

ADAH. 

We were not born then and if we had been, 
Should we not love them and our children, Cain ? 

CAIN. 

My little Enoch ! and his lisping sister ! 
Could I but deem them happy, I would half 

Forget but it can never be forgotten 

Through thrice a thousand generations ! never 
Shall men love the remembrance of the man 
Who sow'd the seed of evil and mankind 
In the same hour ! They pluck'd the tree of science 
And sin and, not content with their own sorrow, 
Begot me thee and all the few that are, 



WITH NOTES. 169 

And all the unnumber'd and innumerable 

Multitudes, millions, myriads, which may be. 

To inherit agonies accumulated 

By ages ! and 1 must be sire of such things ! 

Thy beauty and thy love my love and joy, 

The rapturous moment and the placid hour, 

All we love in our children and each other, 

But lead them and ourselves through many years 

Of sin and pain or few, but still of sorrow, 

Intercheck'd with an instant of brief pleasure, 

To Death the unknown! Methinks the tree of knowledge 

Hath not fulfill'd its promise: if they sinn'd, 

At least they ought to have known all things that are 

Of knowledge and the mystery of death. 

What do they know 1 ? that they are miserable. 

What need of snakes and fruits to teach us that 1 ? 

Note 29. 

In the last foregoing portion of the dialogue, Adah's enjoining 
Cain to choose love before knowledge must be approved of, as not 
only indicative of her amiable and appropriate character, but as afford- 
ing occasion of remarking the intrinsic justness of the sentiment ; since 
God, who is himself essential love, [" God is Love,"] has made that 
quality the most indispensable to man, and the most acceptable to 
himself. But it should be understood primarily of man's due regard 
to his maker ; which, as we have seen, even the heathen Plato pre- 
sents to man's consideration. From thence, its proper source, it will 
diffuse itself, in various measures, through every required channel : 
of such truth, scripture also is full. 

Cain's reply however, to Adah, is not wholly satisfactory. He 
did not agree with Plato, much less with Christianity, nay, not even 



170 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

with his own parents and family. Adah's remonstrances with him 
respecting their parents will gain for her our fresh regard ; while Cain's 
feelings towards them must create abhorrence. They are wholly con- 
demnable, upon every principle of nature, humanity, and justice; 
and his horrible representation of the consequences entailed upon man 
by his parents' error, is, to the utmost excess, overcharged and exag- 
gerated, the imaginary production of his own discontented and self- 
distempered mind. Even admitting that a portion of what is com- 
monly termed evil, is mingled in the immensely preponderating good 
of human life ; that has been somewhat, and will be more, considered ; 
but is far from affording one gram of exculpation to Cain for these 
enormously distorted statements. As to human life leading to what 
he calls " the unknown," viz. death, that has been briefly noticed. 
Death, at this day, is objectionable only to- the unbeliever in that 
revelation, which none can reject, who do not reject all rational and 
moral evidence. His charge against the tree of the knowledge of good 
and evil, is only a repetition of his former futilities : it promised 
nothing ; or, if any thing, death to its violator. All he says in refe- 
rence to it is absurd of course : there was no such compact as he 
basely, and more artfully than ignorantly, pretends. The " mystery 
of death," we have fully seen, is no mystery at all. Nothing is 
plainer than death and its consequences. God, by incontestable 
revelation, has taken care of that. But we make Cain some allow- 
ance for the time in which he lived. His parents, he had no right to 
say, knew nothing but that they were miserable : t hey, said not so. 
Who ever said that snakes and fruits were wanted to teach it ? Lord 
Byron has however well preserved the abhorrency of Cain's character. 
Could Shakspeare have done it more effectually? Adah reproves 
him. 

ADAH. 

I am not wretched, Cain, and if thou 
Wert happy 



WITH NOTES. 171 



CAIN. 



Be thou happy then alone 
I will have nought to do with happiness, 
Which humbles me and mine. 



ADAH. 

Alone I could not, 

Nor would be happy : but with those around us, 
I think I could be so, despite of death, 
Which, as I know not, I dread not, though 
It seems an awful shadow if I may 
Judge from what I have heard. 

LUCIFER. 

And thou couldst not 
Alone, thou say'st, be happy 1 

ADAH. 

Alone ! Oh, my God ! 
Who could be happy and alone, or good? 
To me my solitude seems sin ; unless 
When I think how soon I shall see my brother, 
His brother, and our children, and our parents. 

LUCIFER. 

Yet thy God is alone ; and is he happy ? 
Lonely and good 1 



172 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



ADAH. 

He is not so ; he hath 
The angels aiid the mortals to make happy, 
And thus becomes so in diffusing joy : 
What else can joy be but the spreading joy? 

Note 30. 

In all the foregoing, as well as following, interventions of Adah, 
it is pleasing to see how Lord Byron, in her, has at least given strong 
hints for opposing the characters of Cain and Lucifer. Here then, we 
again see Adah correcting Cain's wretched views and feelings, by her 
own example. She tells him she is not wretched ; and was proceed- 
ing to tell him the happiness that would result from his being happy ; 
but Cain stops her, by bidding her be then happy alone ; for that he 
would have nought to do with happiness which humbled him and his. 
Was this shewing much consideration for Adah, until at least he had 
weighed the humiliation he adverted to ? As he did not, let us weigh 
it for him. 

He means, I suppose, that the happiness of Adah, and of his 
father and his mother, and of Abel and Zillah, was enjoyed at the 
expence of their honour ; and that they were consequently existing 
upon their own disgrace. This must be the meaning of being hum- 
bled by happiness, as applied to himself, and with which he will have 
nothing to do. Otherwise, it is absurd to talk of happiness humbling 
its possessor. As well might we talk of the Supreme himself being 
humbled by his happiness. It is not in its nature. But true hap- 
piness admits not, nor can consist with, what is base or immoral. 
Therefore if a mortal man accept, from a fellow heir of dust, any gra- 
tification, or means of happiness as he may term it, at the expence of 
his integrity, or moral recitude, and of becoming justly vile and con- 
temptible ; such a man may be truly said to have to do with happi- 



WITH NOTES. 173 

ness which humbles him, if not his. And had Cain shewn that the 
situation and circumstances of his father, mother, brother, and sisters, 
in relation to their great and good creator, preserver, and benefactor, 
at all resembled the circumstances just stated, or could possibly re- 
semble them ; then he would have been right in having nought to do 
with happiness which humbled him, if not his. I make that distinc- 
tion, because no individual is humbled, that is, in the sense of being 
disgraced or rendered justly vile or contemptible, by another's fault ; 
but may remain respectable and respected still : nothing but a person's 
own delinquency can so humble him. But if Cain deemed himself 
so " humbled," merely because his father was deprived of Eden, and 
he himself of the gratifications he desired from the possession of Eden ; 
or if he thought that the sole deprivation of inheritance, or rank in life, 
not arising from his own ill conduct, not only reduces the individual 
in his external circumstances, but actually " humbles" him in the ill 
sense of that term ; such sentiments only shew Cain's pride, his 
ignorance of the true dignity of man, and his arrogancy towards, be- 
cause discontent with, the providential arrangements of, his creator. 
Adah's observations on death are very natural for her whose know- 
ledge was so limited as her's of course was. But we have, in these 
days, seen what constitutes death an object of either pleasing, or fear- 
ful, thought ; a foe, or friend, to man. 

Lucifer, however, has long been a quiet looker on, and listener, 
to gather what he might from this confabulation between Cain and 
Adah. He now breaks silence, thinking he sees a fair opportunity of 
sowing a little more of his precious seed of discontent with, and con- 
sequently hatred of, his "conqueror," but Adah's beneficent creator. 
With Cain he had now no trouble. He was his. But Adah was of 
another spirit. Upon her therefore, he must try his skill once more. 
He begins his subtle attack, by craftily reminding Adah of her having 
said, in her simple manner, she could not be alone and happy. This 
draws from Adah an explanation of her own disposition and charac- 
ter, which, however approveable and amiable on the whole, yet seems 
to require a little modifying. She intimates her idea, that no one r 



174 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

in solitude, can be either happy or good ; for, that to her, solitude 
seems to be even sin. It is sufficiently clear that the great and bene- 
ficent author of all existence, and of all happiness, has made the whole 
animal creation social ; and man perhaps eminently so, for various 
reasons, not necessary to advert to here. But man differs much 
from other creatures, and more especially in his moral and intellective 
character. This peculiarity, united with considerations arising from 
his more immediate relation to God, gives rise to numerous excep- 
tions to the general ideas respecting solitude. Occasional solitude 
therefore is well known to be not only consistent with, but very pro- 
motive of, both happiness and goodness, in man. Those who can- 
not bear solitude, under circumstances appearing to invite or require 
it, may therefore justly suspect that all is not right within. Where 
God is sensibly present to the human mind (and he ought ever to be 
so) there can be no painful solitude, unless conscious criminality 
make it painful. Then indeed solitude is naturally, though unavail- 
ingly shunned. But I allege not crime to Adah for shunning soli- 
tude ; only some want of thought. On the other hand, Cain seems 
much to have affected solitude. His mind was considerative and 
firm, though no less dreadfully than wilfully darkened and perverted. 
He seems even to have possessed some traits of character which at- 
tract our regard : and almost induce us to pity, more than reprobate 
him, for his truly appalling, and equally unjust and unallowable (not 
to add unaccountable) enmity against his maker. Such however 
was the mixture which the author's imaginative mind seems to have 
intended. If there be any good in Cain, let us not overlook it, 
while we condemn the evil. We shall have occasion perhaps still 
more than we have had, to oppose our disposition to feel interested 
too much in his favour. 

Lucifer however, plies his darts. He now, after having elicited 
from Adah, that she thought goodness and solitude to be incompati- 
ble ; alleges (but how truly, we have seen) that her God is alone ; 
and is he happy ? " lonely and good ?'' Adah, somewhat warmly, 
if not indignantly, replies in a way which confirms all that has been, 



WITH NOTES. 175 

however imperfectly, said in the foregoing pages, to prove that God 
is not solitary, and that much even of the divine blessedness consists 
in imparting it to his intelligent creation. But the arch-fiend does 
not let Adah off so easily. He has other missiles yet in store to infix 
in her sensitive mind. This we shall now see, when she asks, " What 
else can joy be, but the spreading joy ?" 



LUCIFER. 

Ask of your sire, the exile fresh from Eden ; 
Or of his first-born son ; ask your own heart ; 
It is not tranquil. 



Are you of Heaven ? 



ADAH. 

Alas! no; and you 



LUCIFER. 



If I am not, enquire 

The cause of this all-spreading happiness 
(Which you proclaim) of the all-great and good 
Maker of life and living things ; it is 
His secret and he keeps it. We must bear, 
And some of us resist, and both iu vain, 
His seraphs say : but it is worth the trial, 
Since better may not be without : there is 
A wisdom in the spirit, which directs 
To right, as in the dim blue air the eye 
Of you, young mortals, lights at once upon 
The star which watches, welcoming the morn. 



176 CAIN, A MYSTERY. 

ADAH. 

It is a beautiful star ; I love it for 
Its beauty. 

LUCIFER. 
And why not adore ? 

ADAH. 

Our father 
Adores the Invisible only. 

LUCIFER. 

But the symbols 

Of the Invisible are the loveliest 
Of what is visible ; and yon bright star 
Is leader of the host of Heaven. 

ADAH. 

Our father 

Saith that he has beheld the God himself 
Who made him and onr mother. 

LUCIFER. 

Hast thou seen him ? 

ADAH. 
Yes in his works. 



WITH NOTES. 177 

LUCIFEH. 

But in his being 1 

ADAH. 

No 

Save in my father, who is God's own image ; 
Or in his angels, who are like to thee 
And brighter, yet less beautiful and powerful 
In seeming : as the silent sunny noon, 
As light they look upon us; but thou seem'st 
Like an ethereal night, where long white clouds 
Streak the deep purple, and unnumber'd stars 
Spangle the wonderful mysterious vault 
With things that look as if they would be suns ; 
So beautiful, unnumber'd, and endearing, 
Not dazzling, and yet drawing us to them, 
They fill my eyes with tears, and so dost thou. 
Thou seem'st unhappy : do not make us so, 
And I will weep for thee. 

Note3\. 

When Adah, a little above, had declared her maker was happy 
in diffusing joy, though she states it in the form of a question ; 
" what else can joy be, but the spreading joy ?" Lucifer, Lucifer- 
like, and still feasting on the misery he hoped he was promoting in 
his intended victims, as well as to seize a fresh occasion of vilifying 
his maker, bids her enquire of, as he tauntingly terms him, her fresh- 
exiled father, and of Cain, and even of herself. As if he had said 
" you ask ' what else can joy be but the spreading joy ?' I refer you 



178 . CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

for information, to your father, to tell you whether the Almighty do 
not find joy in banishing his creatures, and driving them from 
their happy home. Ask Cain too, how much joy has been given 
him from the same source. Ask your own heart, for you know its 
occasional uneasiness on the same account." All this, of course, 
was to generate, in Adah, hateful thoughts of her creator ; the aim 
of Lucifer, ever. He therefore would convince those that listen to 
him, that their maker is the author of all evil, calamity, and misery, 
to man, and the whole creation ; forgetting, as he does, the obvious 
reply, that were that God's nature, there would be nothing but evil 
to be seen or known ; for omnipotency will accomplish its desires. 
If evil, or the infliction of misery, were God's delight, he could 
not delight in good also. It is not in the nature of things. What 
therefore he delighted in, he would have. It is very evident that 
Adah had been made untranquil by all this tampering with Lucifer ; 
and, in her simplicity, she confesses the fact, though scarcely alive 
to its true cause. And is it not in the nature of such conferences, to 
produce such effects ? She had now, in truth, been acting the very 
part she lamented her mother's doing ; parleying with, instead of 
flying from, her foe. Some foes are to be met ; some, avoided. Still 
she seems to entertain a doubt of Lucifer's celestial origin ; and there- 
fore, after avowing her own untranquil state, plainly asks him if he 
is of Heaven ? Lucifer's reply, as usual, was not direct, but yet con- 
fessing in effect, that he was not. And here we liave another instance 
of his ironical and no less malicious way of creating odium against 
his maker. For he refers Adah to him for information as to the cause 
of his not being of Heaven, as well as of Adam's banishment, and of 
Cain's misery, and her own untranquil state, and of all the other 
" happiness" she had been proclaiming or speaking of when she 
described God's happiness in diffusing joy ; for he is fond of making 
common cause with man against his maker. The Almighty also he 
terms, in his own sarcastic style, " the all-great and good maker of 
life and living things :" meaning of course to imply that just the 
reverse of good was the divine character. And the cause of all this 



WITH NOTES. 179 

happiness (meaning misery) he says was God's " secret," and that he 
kept it. But all this ironical defamation is shaftless to us, whatever 
it might have been to Adah. We have already seen its nature, directly 
opposed to truth. At any rate, the Almighty had made no " secret" 
of these affairs, (though " secret things belong to him, but things that 
are revealed, belong to us,") for all know why Lucifer was expelled 
from Heaven ; why Adam was removed from Paradise ; why Cain 
was unhappy ; (because ureasonably discontented ;) and why Adah 
was untranquil. Lucifer then, very properly, says, they (making 
common cause again with man which he always affects) must "bear;" 
but, as to his pomposity in saying some of them must resist, we 
know its amount. The seraphs were unquestionably correct in say- 
ing it was in vain. As to its being worth the trial because better 
might not be without; he, with all his sagacity, seems to have forgot- 
ten, that, still, worse may be with. And certainly would be ; be- 
cause, if Lucifer's " pangs" were produced by his rebellion, it follows 
that every additional rebellious act must add to their accumulated 
severity, as cause produces its effect. 

Lucifer's assertion of a wisdom in the spirit directing to right, 
and so forth, is perhaps a flattering metaphor. But if it have any 
meaning in reference to the subjects of these pages, I should conceive 
that meaning to consist in an insinuation, that the wisdom of man's 
spirit as naturally directs him to oppose his maker, (and which he 
seems here to call " right,") as his eye lights at once upon the morning 
star. Or did Lucifer innocently mean to pay a compliment to his 
own spiritual discernment ? However, as to man, I think that his 
true, and not metaphorical wisdom, is to consult and follow the dic- 
tates of his reason and conscience, (especially if enlightened by the re- 
velation we have spoken of,) as his only sure and safe guide. But this 
star that " watches, welcoming the morn," seems to be otherwise also 
of some importance in Lucifer's idea. For, as before he had tempted 
Eve to disobedience, so now he appears to tempt Adah to plain 
idolatry, by worshipping himself. And even if Adah could be ex- 
cused for adoring a symbol of deity, (which she could not,) yet this 
>- 2 



180 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

star seems, by Lucifer's account, to have been a symbol of himself, 
as the "leader of the host of Heaven;" which possibly he had really 
been. Adah however seems proof against him in this all-important 
point. She remembers, and adverts to, the right object of her father's 
worship, "the Invisible only ;" though Lucifer adds his gloss, to induce 
her to think that the symbols were the legitimate objects of adoration. 
Adah says her father had, by his own account, beheld God himself. 
That was, to say the least, incorrectly expressed ; yet it is generally 
believed (by those who have thought upon biblical subjects) that the 
Divine Being did, notonly in Eden but in other places also in aftertimes, 
in various modes, hold immediate communications with man. The 
Shekinah, or divine glory, was perhaps one mode. The assumption 
of the angelic form, perhaps, another. In all which, Adam might, 
and perhaps excusably, think, he saw God himself. Yet of course 
not, as Lucifer expresses it, in his essence ; which no created being 
can do. Adah, herself, only professes to have seen her maker in his 
works, or in her rather, as God's moral image to a certain extent ; or 
in the angels, as his representatives. All which is more accurate. 
Her description of the difference between the angels of God with 
whom she had been familiar, and Lucifer, will perhaps be thought 
somewhat pleasing ; and her concluding expressions may interest us 
in her favour ; especially the last : but as to her weeping for Lucifer ; 
had she known him thoroughly, she might well have acted upon the 
principle, that " charity begins at home." Lucifer's sympathy, how- 
ever, will shew itself in his following prophetic announcements. 



LUCIFER. 

Alas ! those tears ! 
Couldst thou but know what oceans will be shed 



ADAH. 

By me'? 



WITH NOTES. 181 

LUCIFER. 

By all. 

ADAH. 

Whatain 

LUCIFER. 

The million millions 

The myriad myriads the all-peopled Earth 
The unpeopled Earth and the o'er-peopled Hell, 
Of which thy bosom is the germ. 

ADAH. 

Oh Cain ! 
This spirit curseth us. 



Him will I follow. 



CAIN. 

Let him say on ; 



ADAH. 
Whither ? 

LUCIFER. 

To a place 

Whence he shall come back to thee in an hour 
But in that hour see things of many days. 



182 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ADAH. 

How can that be ? 

LUCIFER. 

Did not your Maker make 
Out of old worlds this new one in few days I 
And cannot I, who aided in this work, 
Shew in an hour what he hath made in many, 
Or hath destroy'd in few"? 

CAIN. 

Lead on. 

ADAH. 

Will he 
In sooth return within an hour "? 

LUCIFER. 

He shall. 

With us acts are exempt from time, and we 
Can crowd eternity into an hour, 
Or stretch an hour into eternity: 
We breathe not by a mortal measurement 
But that 's a mystery. Cain, come on with me. 

ADAH. 
Will he return ? 



WITH NOTES. 183 



Note 32. 

Adah's observation to Cain, that Lucifer " cursed" them, was 
perhaps not far from truth, so far at least as his will, and his hopes, 
suggested his direful prognostications. They are no doubt realized to 
a considerable extent, though not to the extent he describes, as he 
considered all mankind as being the objects of them, and that all 
mankind were the descendants of Adah ; whereas all her posterity 
perished in the flood some centuries afterwards. But the sum total 
is abundantly made up since. Still, some truths and some considera- 
tions should be remembered ; viz. that although Lucifer's admonition 
is correct, so far as relates to the multitudes which will people Hell ; 
yet greater multitudes, by far, will arrive at Heaven. For although 
the Redeemer himself speaks of the broad way to destruction which 
most choose ; and the narrow way to life which few pursue ; yet that 
allusion probably is confined to men as they fall within our ordinary 
observation ; whilst other parts of scripture attest the amazing superi- 
ority of number, in the grand result, of the saved beyond the lost. 
For we are told of a long period, (perhaps soon to commence,) when 
wicked men, and unbelievers in the Redeemer, will, if not totally un- 
known in the earth, yet be extremely few ; but the populous world, 
on the contrary, true worshippers of God. But there is another con- 
sideration. This is, the probable salvation of innumerable infants ; 
who, though dying without having attained even a consciousness of 
existence ; yet, having souls and spirits, those souls and spirits may 
be expected to grow and expand in their future and blessed state, as 
they would have done in this, though in the former they will be free 
from all danger of ever perishing. This safety is secured to them, as 
there seems good reason from scripture to believe, by the eternal elec- 
tion of the Father, and his donation to the Son, who therefore re- 
deemed, and saved them with an everlasting salvation. This is not 
expressly revealed ; but the revealed goodness of God seems to sup- 
port such an hypothesis. To what exact period of their age this elec- 



184 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

tion of infants is limited, or, when they precisely become responsible, 
it may be impossible to determine, nor is it for man to know : ac- 
quiescence, in the incontestible righteousness and goodness of his 
creator, in his duty and his wisdom. The Gospel is, confessedly, the 
ordinary medium of salvation ; and the introduction and reception 
of it are attended with the greatest benefits, and the highest satisfaction, 
to those who hear of and embrace it. It is therefore the ordinary ap- 
pointed means of ultimately bringing, in God's time, all that shall 
be saved, to the knowledge of himself. But if it cannot be proved 
from scripture, (and I do not think it can,) that God has not elected, 
and given infants to the Son, to redeem and save, as above supposed ; 
where can it be proved from scripture, that the Father has not, in like 
manner, elected and given to the Son, multitudes of adults also, to 
whom he has not sent the Gospel yet; but whom he may immeditately 
influence by his Spirit, independently of that medium ? If so, what 
a door is opened for still another immense number of the ransomed 
race ! This certainly is conjecture only ; but I cannot at present 
consider that scripture denies it ; while, at the same time, it still cor- 
responds with God's abundant goodness. But be all this as it may, 
it bears not at all upon the fate of those, who, having heard the Gos- 
pel, reject its "joyful sound;" reject God, in the person of the Son, 
the only creator and Redeemer of his creatures ; and who therefore 
place themselves under the fearful answer to that important question, 
"how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" 

Cain, however, notwithstanding Lucifer's announcements, not to 
say denunciations, is well pleased with his destroyer, and declares 
himself his candidate, his adherent, his follower; I had nearly said, 
and perhaps might, his worshipper. When Adah expresses her sur- 
prize at Lucifer's promised quick return of Cain, he boasts of his ce- 
lerity ; and argues, that having aided in the creation of the world, 
which took, he says, many days ; why should not he be able to shew 
it in a few ? That he may have power to shew things rapidly I do 
not deny ; but that he " aided 1 ' in creation, seems more than doubt- 
ful; because we read, that God himself was the sole creator, by the 



WITH NOTES. 185 

word, the Son. Though Lucifer might have been, with the other angels, 
present at it. As to the world being made out of old worlds, that 
too, veiy greatly requires confirmation. Cain appears impatient to 
be on his way, under such auspicious convoy, to the strange place to 
which Lucifer proposed taking him. And upon Adah's repeating 
her amiable anxiety for his safe return, the high infernal potentate 
describes, in lofty, if not exaggerated terms, the nature and powers 
of etherial spirits like himself; which, in fact, should seem to be very 
great ; but as to their mysteriousness, that I take to be merely Luci- 
ferian deception ; their powers being, simply, the properties with 
which the Almighty has endued some of his superior intelligent 
creatures, for his own glory, and for the accomplishment, instrument- 
ally, of his own beneficent purposes. The reply too, of Lucifer to 
Adah's last enquiry, if Cain would return, is somewhat remarkable. 

LUCIFER. 

Ay, woman ! he alone 

Of mortals from that place (the first and last 
Who shall return save ONE) shall come back to thee 
To make that silent and expectant world 
As populous as this : at present there 
Arc few inhabitants. 

ADAH. 
Where dwellest thou T 

LUCIFER. 

Throughout all space. Where should I dwell? Where are 
Thy God or Gods there am I: all things are 
Divided with me ; life and death and time 
Eternity and Heaven and Earth and that 



186 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Which is not Heaven nor Earth, hut peopled with 
Those who once peopled or shall people both 
These are my realms ! So that I do divide 
His, and possess a kingdom which is not 
His. If I were not that which I have said, 
Could I stand here ? His angels are within 
Your vision. 

ADAH. 

So they were when the fair serpent 
Spoke with our mother first. 

LUCIFER, 

Cain ! thou hast heard. 

If thou dost long for knowledge, I can satiate 
That thirst ; nor ask thee to partake of fruits 
Which shall deprive thee of a single good 
The conqueror has left thee. Follow me. 

CAIN. 

Spirit, I have said it. 

[Exeunt LUCIFER and CAIN. 

ADAH. (Follows, exclaiming.} 

Cain ! my brother ! Cain ! 

Note 33. 

Lucifer here, as will be seen more fully afterwards, intimates to 
Adah, that the region to which he is about to conduct Cain is \vliat 
he calls the realm of death. He evidently refers to the REDEEMER, 



WITH NOTES. 187 

when lie says that Cain is the only mortal, save ONE, who should re- 
turn from it. The knowledge of this important fact we may suppose 
Lucifer to have acquired before his expulsion from Heaven. Jesus 
Christ was truly man, as well as God, and therefore, as to his hu- 
manity, "mortal;" but Lucifer seemed not aware, by his speaking 
so coolly of Christ's resurrection from the dead, that his so returning 
from that shadowy realm, was the very means of destroying Lucifer's 
power, and of ultimately confining him to his own place forever. 
The " silent and expectant world" was, according to Lucifer's own 
prediction, peopled partly from the inhabitants of the Earth to the 
flood, and still more from thence to the present moment. 

His answer to Adah's enquiry where he dwelt, viz. " throughout 
all space," seems to shew, that Lucifer, at any rate, was of that 
opinion which recognizes space as a reality, and therefore as what is 
extended, immoveable, capable of receiving or containing matter, 
and penetrable by it ; and therefore that it is doing violence to our 
understanding, to deny, that the conception of space is distinct from 
the conception of matter. As to the " infinity of space," that is per- 
haps another (metaphysical) question still. Yet if space, or extension 
of place, or that something, whatever it be, which is capable of 
receiving or containing matter, be supposed to be bounded or limited ; 
does not that seem to be supposing bounds or limits to the power and 
operations of infinite deity ? Does it not even limit the divine exist- 
ence to certain bounds ? And how does all that agree with God's 
acknowledged infinity ? Besides, can we conceive of any place or 
thing bounded, without conceiving also of some place, or extension, 
beyond that bound ? Whatever is bounded, is certainly included ; 
and whatever is included, must have something larger, or more ex- 
tensive, to include it. If so, what limit can be assigned to the suc- 
cession of such boundaries, and such extensions, to include one ano- 
ther ? How does that differ from infinity ? Then are there not greater 
difficulties attending the nicety of denying infinity to space, in com- 
mon language and according to common perception, than in admit- 
ting it ? And should not that always be admitted, which involves 



188 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

least difficulty ? And does not the same reasoning, which denies 
infinity to space, lead to the denial, by circumscribing the powers, 
of God ? Both are incomprehensible to finite beings ; to the highest 
created intelligence in Heaven, no doubt, as well as to the meanest 
upon Earth. What else is there more adapted to hide conceit, and 
pride, from man or angel ? Incessant reasoning can make no pro- 
gress in this enquiry. The knowledge it aims at is not essential to 
man or angel's happiness. They never can understand it, if not 
revealed by God himself, as he has revealed other and essential mat- 
ters ; but this it does not seem rational to suppose he ever will reveal : 
and it is even perhaps a question if a finite intellect be capable of 
comprehending such a revelation. 

When, in answer to Adah's question where he dwelt, Lucifer 
replies, " throughout all space : where should I dwell ?" he certainly 
exceeds the truth. For there is every reason to believe that God, 
though omnipresent has, with the blessed spirits, some more peculiar 
" habitation," if we may so speak philosophically, as well as scrip- 
turally, were he especially manifests his glory, and communicates his 
more immediate presence. This must be a portion of space. But 
there, Lucifer has never " dwelt" (though he may have casually been, 
an intruder, or permitted visiter for especial purposes, as appears 
from scripture,) since his expulsion. His dwelling, as he has properly 
before declared, is apart from thence. But all the rest of space is 
granted him. His expression of Adah's " God or God's," should 
seem to be that of contempt of the proper deity of the Son : of which 
somewhat has been before said. His assertion that all things are 
" divided" with him, is, it must be confessed, so absurd, as to be 
self-contradicted. For division with another implies compact; and 
what compact can he shew, between his almighty " conqueror" and 
himself? But if division consists in a subdued rebel's occupying 
such territory, and possessing such property, as his sovereign, for 
certain reasons of his own, assigns him for a time, until the final 
execution of his sentence of condemnation ; then Lucifer is right in 
pretending to a division of some extent ; but not an exact moiety as 



AVITH NOTES. 189 

the term " divide" in general implies. As for life and death, he has 
probably, in some instances, the power given him of terminating, 
instrumentally, the former, and procuring the latter. To allude to 
no other, it appears highly admissable that he instigated Saul, and 
Judas, to self destruction. 

As for " time," Lucifer is certainly permitted to occupy it wholly ; 
and eternity he also will, no doubt, occupy. But for Heaven and 
Earth, not so. With Heaven he can have nothing to do, because 
evil can no longer subsist or enter there : evil was there, though con- 
cealed from all but God, before Lucifer's rebellion and expulsion. 
Earth he will continue to infest for his allotted period, under divine 
control. But he seems very accurate in the description of his own 
realms and their peculiar population. For assuredly Hell must be 
peopled with those who, before, shall have possessed both Heaven 
and Earth. Lucifer himself, and his associates, are of the first class ; 
men who have rejected their maker's appointed way of salvation, the 
other class. These realms then, Lucifer boasts of as being his ; and, 
with triumph, rather superior to his logic, concludes " so that I do 
divide his, and possess a kingdom which is not his," whilst the truth[of 
the matter was, he divides or possesses neither ; but possesses, for 
such time, and in such manner, as the Almighty sees fit, merely what- 
ever God pleases to permit him so to do. And he thinks to rivet all 
his assertions, by loftily asking Adah if he could stand there, were 
he not that, which he had said. To which Adah might have replied, 
" certainly ; for that he stood there by divine permission ; and God 
had not withholden from him the power of speaking lies." He also re- 
minds Adah, that God's angels are within sight, in case she enter- 
tained any apprehension of danger from him. But to this Adah sen- 
sibly replies : " so they were, when the fair serpent spoke with our 
mother first." The Almighty did not, on that occasion, prevent Eve 
from following her own imagination ; and by having done so, she 
might learn her liability to transgress, and fall. Without further no- 
tice of Adah, Lucifer turns to Cain, arid tells him he has heard all 
that he had been saving ; and that he could satiate his thirst for know- 



190 CAIX, A MYSTERY, ETC. 

ledge, if that were what he longed for ; and sarcastically refers to the 
loss occasioned by the eating of the forbidden fruit ; nothing like 
which, he said, would he ask Cain to partake of, or to incur the 
deprivation of any good the "conqueror" had left him. Cain, after 
all he had seen and heard of Lucifer, might well have suspected his 
promised gift of knowledge. He however resolutely determines to 
follow him. 



ACT II. SCENE I. 

The Abyss of Space. 

CAIN. 

I tread on air, and sink not ; yet I fear 
To sink. 

LUCIFER. 

Have faith in me, and thou shall be 
Borne on the air, of which I am the prince. 

CAIN. 
Can I do so without impiety'? 

LUCIFER. 

Believe and sink not! doubt and perish! thus 

Would run the edict of the other God, 

Who names me demon to his angels ; they 

Echo the sound to miserable things, 

Which knowing nought beyond their shallow senses, 

Worship the word which strikes their ear, and deem 

Evil or good what is proclaim'd to them 

In their abasement. I will have none such : 



192 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Worship or worship not, thou shall behold 
The worlds beyond thy little world, nor be 
Amerced, for doubts beyond thy little life, 
With torture of my dooming. There will come 
An hour, when, toss'd upon some water-drops, 
A man shall say to a man, " Believe in me, 
And walk the waters ;" and the man shall walk 
The billows and be safe. / will not say 
Believe in me, as a conditional creed 
To save thee ; but fly with me o'er the gulph 
Of space an equal flight, and I will shew 
What thou dar'st not deny, the history 
Of past, and present, and of future worlds. 

Note 34. 

In this commencement of their aerial, or abyssal, tour, Cain be- 
gins by expressing his wonder, and his fear of sinking. The fact was, 
he was not in a place, nor in society, at all consistent with his allegi- 
ance to his creator. Well, therefore, did his conscience create some 
misgivings of what would become of his " immortal part" especially, 
should he actually sink into that dark, dreary, Imd horrible gulph. 
Lucifer however, quickly offers himself as an object of confidence ; 
thus imitating, almost in words, and from whatever motive (indeed 
it could only have been his arrogant affectation of godhead) his " con- 
queror" Jesus Christ, in after time, who certainly required faith in 
himself; and who if he were mere man and not very God and Jeho- 
vah, as well as man, was as Luciferianly arrogant, as this his imitator. 
But as to Lucifer's claim to be " Prince of the Air," it cannot be 
allowed ; since he does not appear to have been constituted such a 
prince. He is indeed called in scripture the " Prince of the Power 
of the Air ;" which is another thing ; and means only, mat he is the 
head and ruler of those spirits, who adhered to him in his rebellion, 



WITH NOTES. 193 

and with him were expelled from Heaven, and with him have Hell for 
their abode. Over them he rules ; and with their assistance and 
power, and by divine permission, ranges about in the air of this 
universe ; producing, by the power allowed him, considerable effects 
upon it. His operations in regard to Job are well known. Storms, 
tempests, hurricanes, may also be, sometimes, his immediate and 
permitted agency, or that of his subalterns, though still under divine 
regulation and restraint, and for good purposes. Cain, rather unac- 
countably, seems to be affected with some religious qualms, or 
scruples, about having faith in his abyssal guide, however powerful ; 
for he asks if he may do so without impiety ; which excites from the 
latter an answer, which requires some examination, before the pro- 
positions contained in it can be allowed to pass. 

First, he almost more audaciously than one could have expec- 
ted, calls himself a superior God ; viz. by terming (whether wit- 
tingly or not, I will not say,) Jesus Christ the "other God" he 
himself, of course, being one ; so that he made himself equal in 
deity to Jehovah. Of this, somewhat more hereafter. Meanwhile 
we must, rather narrowly as usual, look into his allegations. He 
says, that other God [i. e. Jesus Christ, as will appear presently] 
names him demon to his angels. Those angels, however, know what 
he is very well, and by experience, without such express naming. 
His name, Devil, means calumniator, false accuser, and every thing 
bad of that nature ; his name Satan, signifies, an adversary ; but as 
for his having been named demon, that does not appear from scrip- 
ture explicitly, though perhaps inferentially. Yet he would gain 
little or nothing, by it, in point of character, if it were so. As to 
the angels " echoing the sound to miserable things ;" (meaning of course 
by " miserable things," mankind ;) neither does that appear either. 
But the Almighty has himself informed man of it, by the revelation he 
has given to him. This revelation indeed has been said to be, and so in 
some respect it was, " by the ministry of angels," but a ministry 
derived from an express commission differs totally from an echo. 
Then for his thus terming men " miserable things" that is merely 



194 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

in keeping with his own name, "calumniator;" because, though man, 
from many causes, is not exempt from misery (not of God's making 
but his own, in combination with Lucifer himself) yet that is not 
the same with mankind, generally, being called " miserable (or con- 
temptible) things." On the contrary, if they be " things" at all (which 
indeed they are, if they are any thing ; for something is certainly a 
thing ; and a man is surely something) they are still, in the divine 
mind, at least so many of them as revolt not against their maker, happy, 
high, and most excellent things in every point of view, if aided by, (and 
not rejecting,) that revelation of which mention has been made. Things 
they are, as much superior to Lucifer, and his subjects, as Heaven is su- 
perior to Hell. Besides, they do also know something, and that very 
considerable, beyond their " shallow senses." True, their senses are, 
comparatively speaking, shallow ; yet sufficient for all their present pur- 
poses : but although they must see, and hear, and read, and in some 
sense, think perhaps through the medium of those respective senses ; 
yet, the knowledge, thereby acquired, is sufficiently certain, and 
extensive, and intellectual, and spiritual, to render these same " miser- 
able things" infinitely happier, and infinitely higher, (because the 
objects of divine regard,) than Lucifer himself. Then, as to " wor- 
shipping the word which strikes their ear ;" it is possible that some do 
so ; but that is not characteristic of all ; and certainly not of those 
who adhere to their creator, and duly regard and comprehend his 
revelation. His written word indeed they reverence ; but they wor- 
ship himself alone. But if by " word which strikes their ear" Luci- 
fer means (which I hardly think) Jesus Christ, who is, emphatically, 
"the Word of God:" him also, as one with the Father, they cer- 
tainly do worship, in heart, whenever that word in an appropriate 
manner, strikes their ear; for in striking their ear it finds access 
(through that " sense," certainly) to their judgments and every other 
reasoning faculty of their minds. These persons then, who thus hear 
and judge, do not deem good and evil what is proclaimed to them 
in their abasement; for, in the first place, they are not abased, but 
highly exalted by their maker's favour, so long as they duly regard 



WITH NOTES. 195 

him: they are as intellectual, and spiritual, to say the least, as 
Lucifer himself: and, in the next place, they deem what they hear 
proclaimed, to be good or evil, not merely because they hear it pro- 
claimed, but because their reason shews them that it is so proclaimed 
(by revelation) upon the most indubitable authority, and all rational 
persuasion. Their principle is, to receive as binding, no religious 
doctrine or practice, which cannot be shewn to be taught and required 
by Jesus Christ, or by his apostles, in his word. And that alleged 
word, itself, they receive not, but as agreeable to their reason ; that 
is, only on the ground, that right reason and rational evidence bid 
them admit the authenticity, and consequent authority, of that collec- 
tion of writing, called by eminence " the Book" or the Bible. Now 
Lucifer says, he will " have none such ;" that is, none such as he has 
described. But he must be told, that he can have no other ; for 
they only are fit for and worthy of him. As to those who have just 
been distinguished from them ; they are infinitely above Lucifer, and 
much more above his affected rejection. He then pretends to dis- 
regard Cain's worshipping him or not, (though he had before required 
it as a condition of knowledge to be imparted,) and promises him a 
view of other worlds ; and that he shall not be amerced, beyond 
Cain's present little (meaning insignificant) life, with tortures of his 
dooming, because he (Cain) entertained doubts : insinuating, of 
course, that God dooms man to future torture, for doubting. We 
have seen before, the evil use which Lucifer ever makes of the term 
" torture ;" and have proved, that God, from his very nature, neither 
does, nor can, torture, in the true sense of that odious word. But it 
is not for doubting, that even God's sanctions, take place in man. 
Those sanctions are for actual, and known, and continued, sin, for 
which repentance, or pardon, in the way God requires, has been 
neither obtained, nor sought. For many, if not all, believers in 
Christ, have doubted before they believed. It is the determined 
rejection of Christ therefore, on rational evidence, and not doubting, 
which procures man that consequential misery, which Lucifer, accord- 
ing to his own peculiar nomenclature, calls being " amerced for doubts 

o 2 



196 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

beyond man's little life ;" but which others call the loss of eternal life 
and happiness, arising from man's refusal of their/ree donation. Thus 
however it is that we see Lucifer's malicious, if not very skilful, and 
perpetual insinuations against his maker. He then adverts, in the 
same spirit, to Peter's walking on the water at the bidding of Christ, 
relying on his faith in him, (as Lucifer in imitation requires of Cain 
just above,) and affects that he will not require a " conditional creed" 
in order to save him from sinking, as Christ did of Peter. 

I know not how to forbear some addition here, which in fact 
I cannot but think the subject calls for. It appears to me then, that 
Lucifer, just above, has led us to some other weighty considerations . 
He alludes to Christ as to "a man," requiring faith in himself for 
salvation: not as a skilful pilot in a storm on Earth, but far other- 
wise and beyond that, even for eternal life. Now that Christ did so 
is true. The difficulty is to reconcile his doing so with his being a 
good man, if a mere man. We will see however how the mat- 
ter stands, and how those persons can maintain their consistency 
who deny Christ's proper deity. He says : "as Moses lifted up 
the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted 
up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eter- 
nal life." Now it is evident that the Israelites, when bitten by the fiery 
serpents, were required (not then to practise moral duties for their cure, 
but) to look upon the brazen serpent on the pole, that they might live. 
This of course was an act of faith ; and as many as so beheld the 
serpent of brass lived. Here therefore Christ constitutes himself a 
similar object of faith to those who so believed in his sacrificial and 
atoning elevation on the cross, as the Israelites did ; not indeed as 
they for securing their temporal life, but for obtaining eternal life ; 
in other words, the eternal salvation of their souls. This then was 
quite apart from the performance of his moral precepts. That, fol- 
lows or accompanies salvation ; but is no more die means of salva- 
tion, than a shadow is its substance. But the instances are endless 
(so to speak) wherein Christ requires this faith in him ; the New 
Testament is full of it ; so that it can be no misapprehension, but 



WITH NOTES. 197 

absolute and deliberate rejection, not to yield it. Those who deny 
Christ's divine nature have no difficulty in admitting him to have 
been truly man, as he indeed was : but they affirm too that he was 
a mere man ; but in general, with little exception, allow him at least 
a perfection of moral character as man, which no other man ever 
possessed. But what should we in these days think of a teacher of 
morality who should require faith in himself, and men to trust in 
him for salvation, when the Bible is abundant in declarations, that 
salvation is to be sought for and had from God alone, without the 
intervention of man, in spiritual as well as in temporal concerns ? 
For the Almighty declares, by his prophet, " cursed be the man 
that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart 
departeth from the Lord." Now this Christ knew, and yet required 
man to do the very thing to him which is here forbidden to be done 
to any mere man. Either then he must have been the God of Salv- 
ation, or else a most impudent pretender. The declaration just 
quoted, certainly relates to spiritual as well as temporal matters, as 
is evident from the whole tenor and analogy of scripture. Tempo- 
ral things are only spoken of for the sake of, and in reference to, 
spiritual and eternal concerns, which are ever in scripture the ulti- 
mate object. But yet again, in more direct language, Jehovah says 
he himself is man's only Saviour ; "a just God and a Saviour, 
there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye 
ends of the Earth." What then can be thought of Christ for assum- 
ing the very same place and office as Jehovah if he were not Jehovah ? 
But he does so, even in the foregoing comparison of himself to the 
serpent in the wilderness. But the scriptures are full, in testimony 
that Jehovah is man's only Saviour, and that Christ is so too. What 
then are we to conclude, but that Jehovah and Christ are one and 
the same ? Jehovah says " look unto me and be ye saved :" and of 
Christ it is said, that there is " no salvation in any other ; for there is 
none other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we 
must be saved." Yet some hope to be saved without his name, i. e. 
by their obedience to his precepts ! 



198 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Again : what would those who deny Christ to be Jehovah, Cod, 
as well as man, say of any teacher of morality in this day, who 
should, with all possible complacency, as if entitled to it, and a 
thing with which he was quite familiar, receive every ascription of 
divine character, and every expression of divine worship ? Did 
Paul, or Barnabas, or Moses, so ? But Jesus did. The worship 
paid him was adoration, not civil respect; as is most evident from 
the instances : to have received which adoration must have been the 
utmost wickedness in him, and idolatry in those who paid it, were 
he not Jehovah in the person of the Son. Either, then, Christ is 
Jehovah, and then these persons, in not worshipping him, do not 
worship God as they ought ; or if they deem him mere man, they, 
or many of them it is conceived, if not all, pay him much greater 
professed respect than they ought to do to any mortal like them- 
selves ; which I think a serious dilemma, worthy of deep consideration. 
I am not unaware of different interpretations and various opinions ; 
but I go upon the whole scope and tenour of the scriptures, and their 
total unimportance and want of rational sanction upon any possible 
hypothesis short of that which runs through the entire system 
the proper deity of Jesus Christ, as God in the person of the Son, 
uniting the two natures for the purpose of bringing man back again, 
and reconciling him, to his maker, by the mediation and sacrificial 
atonement of him who is both God and man. Upon any other 
hypothesis God is, from scripture, (as appears to me,) less acces- 
sible now than he was before this revelation. All confidence, (or 
imaginary confidence, rather,) in him, is totally misplaced, fallacious, 
and destructive : he evidently will not, as it should seem, receive 
any who, after knowing this revelation of Christ,, reject him as 
" the Mediator between God and man," refusing to rely upon him 
alone for acceptance, for being, as scripture expresses it, "accept- 
ed" not in themselves, merely, but " in the Beloved." Indeed, Christ 
declares that if we believe in him in the way the Father requires, then 
" the Father himself loveth" us who do so. Otherwise, there is 
abundant evidence, that God " rejects our confidences." God is 



AVITII NOTES. 199 

holy and just ; man is impure and unrighteous, except as viewed by 
God in the Son, in whom alone he is "well pleased:" so that, 
without Christ, man cannot possibly approach his maker. He can 
have no well-founded confidence and assurance; all is dark and 
uncertain. Such then (the revelation of Christ as just stated) is the 
" conditional creed" which Lucifer thus stigmatizes, and may well 
make the butt of his continual animosity and ridicule, knowing it 
is the medium of restoring man from the captivity of his own infernal 
thraldom to " the glorious liberty of the Sons of God." 

As to Lucifer's telling Cain he durst not deny what he should 
shew him, viz. "the history of past, and present, and of future 
worlds;" perhaps it will appear, that if Cain durst not deny it, 
others may. 



CAIN. 

Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art, 
Is yon our Earth ? 

LUCIFER. 

Dost thou not recognize 
The dust which form'd your father? 



Can it be ? 

Yon small blue circle, swinging in far ether, 
With an inferior circlet near it still, 
Which looks like that which lit our earthly night? 
Is this our Paradise? Where are its walls, 
And they who guard them ? 



200 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

Point me out the site 
Of Paradise. 

CAIN. 

How should I? As we move 
Like sunbeams onward, it grows small and smaller, 
And as it waxes little, and then less, 
Gathers a halo round it, like the light 
Which shone the roundest of the stars when I 
Beheld them from the skirts of Paradise : 
Methinks they both, as we recede from them, 
Appear to join the innumerable stars 
Which are around us ; and, as we move on, 
Increase their myriads. 

LUCIFER. 

And if there should be 
Worlds greater than thine own, inhabited 
By greater things, and they themselves far more 
In number than the dust of thy dull Earth, 
Though multiplied to animated atoms, 
All living, and all doom'd to death, and wretched, 
What wouldst thou think? 

CAIN. 

I should be proud of thought 
Which knew such things. 



WITH NOTES. 201 

LUCIFER. 

But if that high thought were 
Link'd to a servile mass of matter, and, 
Knowing such things, aspiring to such things, 
And science still beyond them, were chain'd down 
To the most gross and petty paltry wants, 
All foul and fulsome, arid the very best 
Of thine enjoyments a sweet degradation, 
A most enervating and filthy cheat, 
To lure thee on to the renewal of 
Fresh souls and bodies, all foredoom'd to be 
As frail, and few so happy 

CAIN. 

Spirit ! I 

Know nought of death, save as a dreadful thing 
Of which I have heard my parents speak, as of 
A hideous heritage I owe to them 
No less than life ; a heritage not happy, 
If I may judge till now. But, spirit! if 
It be as thou hast said, (and I within 
Feel the prophetic torture of its truth,) 
Here let me die: for to give birth to those 
Who can but suffer many years, and die, 
Methinks is merely propagating death, 
And multiplying murder. 



202 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



Note 35. 

Mortals who, like Cain, forsake or forget their God, (what 
mortal does not so, more or less ?) are apt to be much affected with 
admiration of, if not veneration for, objects or persons by no means 
entitled to those sentiments from their fellow dust, except in cases 
of moral and religious excellence ; and then, guardedly : nor will 
such require it, though it be instinctively paid them by those who 
regard those estimable qualities wherever they perceive them. The 
way to avoid undue veneration for man, is, to know and adore his 
maker. This is exemplified by Cain in the present instance : being 
estranged from the Majesty of Heaven, his debased mind prompts 
him to ascribe even a kind of deityship to so evil a being as Lucifer : 
and so it ever has been. But passing over Cain's miserable and 
ignorant adulation, or adoration, or whatever it may be called, of 
Lucifer ; still, his description of the effects of their quick distancing 
of Earth, and of the other objects introduced to him in their progress 
through space, is apparently suited to the supposed fact. Yet the 
astonishing scenes he describes as passing through, seem not to 
have affected him with any thing like a corresponding feeling towards 
him, who 

" toss'd this mass of wonders from his hand." 






Rather than so, we shall find Cain and Lucifer engaged in disquisi- 
tions concerning them, more " curious" than either " devout" or use- 
ful ; it may be, pernicious. But Lucifer's insinuation of the fixed 
stars, described as he describes them, being inhabited worlds, and 
their inhabitants all doomed to death, and wretched, is truly in his 
own Luciferian style of calumny, against the author of their exist- 
ence. On that subject, (viz. the unfoundedness of the assertion of 
God's making misery,) enough has been said to prevent the need of 
any enlargement on it here. Cain's pride of thought, in knowing 
such things as Lucifer has been saying, is contemptible enough. 



WITH NOTES. 203 

For it is all mere Luciferian hypothesis ; if this, if that, if the 
other ; and every supposition merely gratuitous, and unfounded in 
fact ; at least so reason says, because unsupported by any evidence : 
it is all therefore mere sound, and nothing more. How then can 
Cain be admired for his pride of thought, in thinking about non- 
entities ? Lucifer's animadversions, however, in reply, respecting 
the constitution of human nature, are merely slanderous, and such 
as no reasonable, or rightly-constituted mind will regard with any 
other feeling than utter detestation, and most marked disapproval. 
Still, they are fit for Lucifer's utterance, " foe to God and man." 
Otherwise, it is not to be denied, that the more mankind rise above, 
or keep in due subjection, their inferior nature, and cultivate their 
superior destination, the better for them. The mind, certainly was 
" made to sway" as Lucifer elsewhere has truly said : nor is there any 
other means of happiness to man. As to the human soul being 
" link'd to a servile mass of matter ;" that is what all true philosophers 
would say it should be, in man's present state of being. To vilify 
human nature indeed, because it is not wholly spirit, is as rational 
as to quarrel with deity, because any thing at all in creation is diffe- 
rent from what Lucifer, or any other opposer of his maker, would 
have it be. To that quarreling there is no end ; nor can any reason- 
ing reach it. Otherwise, and taking things as they actually exist, 
the body ought to serve the soul. The unhappiness is that the sub- 
jection, through man's degeneracy, is not more complete. Nor is 
the soul, though confined in, strictly chained down, as Lucifer 
would have it, to that servile mass, except in such as, despising the 
revelation before mentioned, choose such bondage. That revelation, 
by its moral efficacy, when sincerely received, chains the material, 
enfranchises the immaterial, part of man. For although it seems 
true, that the soul (given to every individual immediately by God, 
yet as part of man through Adam, not pure, or sinless, or perfect) 
in its ordinary operations, beholds and acts from representations 
made on that part of the human frame (as may afterwards be again 
noticed) which is adapted to the reception of impressions made upon 



204 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

it from without, viz. the organ of sensation, the brain ; nor has the 
soul the means of acting absolutely without the body ; yet is the 
soul not to be denied the possession of other powers, by which it can 
reflect upon itself, and discriminate between what it beholds, and 
make its choice. Besides this, the soul, as a spirit, is susceptible 
of impressions from spirits, or spiritual agents. Hence Jesus Christ 
exhorts his disciples to ask of God the gift of the Holy Spirit, pro- 
mising its donation ; the effect of whose powerful influence is, to 
renew and raise the soul, in its nature and tendencies, above the 
imperfections of its material tenement, and give it a freedom from it, 
even while confined to it ; and to make it victorious over them in 
time, and in eternity ; however liable to suffer, intermediately, from 
their annoyances. The soul of man therefore is capable of immedi- 
ate communion with its maker, through his Spirit. And the soul 
of man is the man, emphatically speaking : though the union of 
soul and body constitutes the entire human nature. In these views 
of the subject therefore, Lucifer's exaggerated statements amount to 
nothing, or may be even useful. 

Cain then renews his complaints against both death and life, 
regardless of the mercies of the latter, and of the provision made 
against the evil of the former ; which provision his family, it should 
seem, had accepted, though he would not. Of whom then had he 
to complain, for this " heritage not happy ?" His feeling, or fancy- 
ing he felt, the u prophetic torture of the truth" of what Lucifer had 
been, I must say, vapouring forth, may be fine sentimentality and 
fine language ; but by no means proves its truth : had he consulted 
unbiassed reason, and followed rational evidence, he would have 
known it was all delusion. His concluding ideas are quite fit for 
him; but will not be received by any who regard the revelation God 
has given. Those who reject that revelation on the evidence it offers, 
I conceive to be incapable of conviction on any moral or rational 
subject to which they object ; and therefore must be left, however 
painfully, to their unhappy choice. Cain having, lastly, expressed 
his preference to die, Lucifer replies : 



WITH NOTES. 205 



LUCIFER. 

Thou canst not 
All die there is what must survive. 

CAIN. 

The Other 

Spake not of this unto my father, when 
He shut him forth from Paradise, with death 
Written upon his forehead. But at least 
Let what is mortal of me perish, that 
I may he in the rest as angels are. 

LUCIFER. 
/ am angelic : wouldst thou be as I am ? 

CAIN. 

I know not what thou art : I see thy power, 
And see thou shew'st me things beyond my power. 
Beyond all power of my born faculties, 
Although inferior still to my desires 
And my conceptions. 

LUCIFER. 

What are they, which dwell 
So humbly in their pride, as to sojourn 
With worms in clay 1 



206 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



CAIN. 

And what art thou who dwellest 
So haughtily in spirit, and canst range 
Nature and immortality and yet 
Seern'st sorrowful \ 

LUCIFER. 

I seem that which I am ; 
And therefore do I ask of thee, if thou 
Would'st be immortal! 

CAIN. 

Thou hast said, I must be 
Immortal in despite of me. I knew not 
This until lately but since it must be, 
Let me, or happy or unhappy, learn 
To anticipate my immortality. 

LUCIFER. 
Thou didst before I came upon thee. 

CAIN. 

How? 

LUCIFER. 

By suffering. 



WITH NOTES. 207 

CAIN. 

And must torture be immortal ? 

LUCIFER. 

We and thy sons will try. But now, behold ! 
Is it not glorious ? 

Note 36. 

Lucifer repeating here his information to Cain of his immor- 
tality, the latter, to shew his proficiency under such a master, uses 
the term " the Other" when alluding to the Almighty as not having 
spoken of that immortality to Adam, although the probability seems 
to be, that the Almighty had revealed his immortality to Adam ; for, 
besides what has been already said, it will presently appear that Adah 
was informed of the " atonement ; yet how could she have heard of 
it, but from Adam ? And what is the knowledge of the atonement, 
but the knowledge of immortality ? And if Adah knew of it, how 
could Cain not know it? His expression of his father being " shut 
forth from Paradise, with death written on his forehead," is much too 
strong, or rather not true, considering all circumstances, as has been 
shewn : God's merciful dealing with him in particular. His desire 
that what is mortal of him might perish, in order that, in what re- 
mained, he might be as angels are, is perhaps more than excusable if 
we can conceive his wish to have been, to resemble those angels who 
had not revolted, like Lucifer and his, from their maker. But of that 
there is too much evidence to the contrary. In answer to Lucifer's 
question, if he would be as he was, for that he was angelic ; Cain 
honestly replies, he did not know what he was ; yet acknowledging 
his power superior to his own. This seems to induce something like 
a retort courteous from Lucifer ; who asks his wary disciple what 
then they are, who though proud, yet are humble enough to sojourn 



208 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

with worms in clay? meaning mankind, as I conceive; and Cain 
in particular perhaps. There seems something more smart than usual 
between the friends on this occasion, apparently approaching to fit- 
ful ; for Cain, in his turn again, asks his guide what he is, who, so 
haughty, and ranging nature and immortality, yet seems sorrowful ? 
Lucifer very ingenuously confesses to the truth of Cain's surmise ; 
for that he was what he seemed, viz. " sorrowful." Yet fax different was 
Lucifer's sorrow, or woe, from that far-famed erratic knight's, whose 
lugubrious and care-worn countenance was aye brightened to a 
smile, whenever his favouring stars conducted him to the relief of 
injured beauty. His errantry was to defend and save : Lucifer's, to 
assault and destroy. This wofulness, however, the " mighty and 
everlasting" assigns as a reason for asking Cain, honestly enough, if 
he too would be immortally sorrowful, or sorrowfully immortal, 
whichever he preferred. We shall however find another occasion for 
considering if sorrowfulness and immortality be necessary compani- 
ons ; though the " Master of Spirits" seems to mean us to suppose . 
they are so. Cain, then, asserts his desire of anticipating his immor- 
tality, since Lucifer had before told him he must be immortal, in 
despite of himself; and that, whether happy or unhappy. 

Now I beg here to offer my own humble opinion, that (thanking 
Lord Byron for so excellent a hint) Cain was both right and wrong 
in this last wish of his. I think he was immeasurably wrong, in 
hazarding an entrance upon an unchangeable state, without a rati- 
onal certainty of its not being an unhappy state at any rate, if not 
the most happy. Is there not such a thing as unhappiness ? Is it 
not the very thing a sensitive being would, and does, avoid ? And 
do not men in common life, forecast much and anxiously, to avoid 
it? Do they leave important things of this life to uncertainty, if 
they may be made certain ? And yet Cam, (could he be of sound 
mind ?) is careless whether his immortality be happy or unhappy ! 
Who can pretend to wisdom that acts thus ? But now let us see 
wherein he was right ; and let him have his meed of praise ; and 
perhaps the honour of setting us an example worthy to be followed. 



WITH NOTES. 209 

He is desirous of " anticipating his immortality." I am not quite 
sure that he meant it exactly in my own sense ; but at any rate I will 
take him so, and I hope without wronging him by so doing. There 
is a celebrated saying, " Man, know thyself," and I believe it is 
universally approved of : for though I cannot think that all, or die best 
and most important, knowledge, " centres there," (for to know God, 
and Jesus Christ which is life eternal, is the most important,) yet still, 
so far as it goes, it is doubtless an excellent maxim. Now I will, from 
Cain's wish, form another maxim to accompany the one just noticed ; 
and it shall be "Man, anticipate thine immortality." To what 
superior thoughts may not this maxim, seriously embraced, lead us ? 
To what conduct not incite ? What actions not suppress ? If all 
men did so, under the influence of reason, guided by revelation, 
must not all unhappiness be banished from the Earth, and man made 
ready for the enjoyment of the immortality he had anticipated? But 
there are more specific reasons for anticipating our immortality, as 
men anticipate a journey to regions known or unknown. If un- 
known, how anxiously are not maps and histories consulted ! if 
known, or when known, what pains are not taken to be rightly qua- 
lified for happy domiciliation, where the final residence is anticipated ! 
For to be, ever, where we must be irremediably ill at ease, or mise- 
rable ; what want of common sense would not be attributed to him, 
who should not use all means in his power to avoid it ? Yet, is not 
that glaring improvidence, with respect to futurity, the constant 
course of man ? In life's bustle, and deceptive glare of grandeur, or 
poisonous and destructive draughts of inebriating gratifications, it 
is true, this distant (yet near) region, is no more realized to the mind, 
much less familiarized, than a Utopia or a Laputa. But when the 
uninvited solitude or silence of decaying nature overtakes us ; when 
the sceptre, and the sword, and all things else, fall from the power- 
less grasp, and the unknown, because neglected, regions of eternity 
press upon our view ; then those things which before obstructed it, 
lose their importance ; and, if our senses are not stupified, how can 
we look forward to that scene of new associations with composure, 



210 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

unless, having anticipated them, through the medium of the revela- 
tion we have considered, we are assured, without a doubt, or an 
uncertainty, and far beyond a feeble /tope, that our reception in that 
new shore will be happy, and our final destination, ever blessed ? 
These matters should not be thrust into the shade of the back ground, 
so much as they are, by immortal spirits. 

Here Lucifer again leads us to further reflection still. He tells Cain, 
he had, in fact, anticipated his immortality, before he came upon 
him. " Came upon him !" rather an ominous expression ! reminding 
us of a vulture, or a wolf, pouncing, or springing upon, his prey ! 
However, Cain not rightly comprehending his highly metaphysical 
friend, asks him for an explanation ; how he so anticipated his im- 
mortality ? The oracular response is, " by suffering." This seems 
to require consideration. Does he mean to allege, or insinuate, that, 
because " sorrow was half of his own immortality," that therefore 
suffering was so identified, and one, with immortality itself, that 
whoever suffered, did, in fact, ascertain thereby that he necessarily 
was immortal ? I know not what other meaning to give his words, 
so congenial to his avowed and well-known character. I must there- 
fore take that to be their meaning ; and at the same time express my 
own entire dissent from his doctrine. So far are suffering and im- 
mortality from being necessarily one and the same thing ; or even 
suffering from being the constant attendant upon immortality ; that 
immortality is the sure, and never-ending exemption from suffering, 
to all who do not reject, or neglect, the means which God has gra- 
ciously appointed, for ensuring an immortality at once unsuffering 
and happy. Lucifer probably does not mean bodily, but mental 
suffering ; and that it is a proof of an immaterial, rather than immor- 
tal, principle in man. For immateriality does not seem to include 
absolute immortality, independent and in defiance of, the Almighty, 
as before remarked ; or, although mental suffering should imply both 
immateriality and immortality, yet, by no means a suffering immor- 
tality, for the reason above given, deduced from revelation. But, other- 
wise, I confess, with Lucifer, that mental suffering in this life, may inti- 



WITH NOTES. 211 

mate future and interminable misery, if not prevented, through the me- 
diumof that revelation ; because we know we are immaterial and immor- 
tal too, without an express exertion of divine power put forth to anni- 
hilate us ; and that, we have every scriptural ground for believing 
never will be done. Besides, if suffering anticipates immortality, 
it may be said that our assurance of immortality requires suffering as 
its evidence ; but if the evidence of our future happy or unhappy 
and immortal existence arose from suffering only, it would be 
very inconclusive and therefore unsatisfactory. We have in fact a 
real evidence, altogether satisfactory. Cain then shews his scholar- 
like proficiency again, under so effective an instructor, by asking 
him if "torture is to be immortal?" We have considered the total 
inapplicability of the term " torture," to the Divine Being, as being 
abhorrent to his nature. But God, as a just moral governor, can, 
without " torturing," (which none but tyrants practise,) and either 
in a more immediate way, or by permitting causes to operate their 
effects, visit evil beings with the sanctions of his just laws ; the 
never-ending consequence of which would be, their enduring, com- 
mensurately with their immortal existence, the misery which their 
chosen evil had brought upon them. And this seems to be a suffi- 
cient answer to Cain's enquiry about " immortal torture." As for 
Lucifer's bravado, that he, with his legions, and Cain, with his sons, 
would " try" whether torture must be immortal, that is quite in his 
own way. But I apprehend there is every evidence, that he never 
will have permission to make the experiment, after the wretched 
attempt he has already made. His subsequent and abrupt question 
to Cain, draws from the latter the following descriptive and enthusi- 
astic admiration. 

CAIN. 

Oh, thou beautiful 
And unimaginable ether ! and 
Ye multiplying masses of increased 

P 2 



212 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

And still increasing lights ! what are yc? what 

Is this blue wilderness of interminable 

Air, where ye roll along, as I have seen 

The leaves along the limpid streams of Eden 1 

Is your course measured for ye 1 or do ye 

Sweep on in your unbounded revelry 

Through an aerial universe of endless 

Expansion, at which my soul aches to think, 

Intoxicated with eternity ? 

Oh God ! Oh Gods ! or whatsoe'er ye are ! 

How beautiful ye are ! how beautiful 

Your works, or accidents, or whatsoe'er 

They may be ! Let me die, as atoms die, 

(If that they die) or know ye in your might 

And knowledge ! My thoughts are not in this hour 

Unworthy what I see, though my dust is ; 

Spirit! let me expire, or see them nearer. 

Note 37. 

It is not my purpose to expatiate upon the beauties or the won- 
ders of the works of the great and all-good creator, so calculated, as 
they nevertheless are, to excite the admiration of all intelligent beings ; 
and allowably so, if that admiration excite praise to God. Then 
indeed we may bid our praise flow 

" redundant; like Meander flow 

Back to thy fountain ; to that parent-power 

Who gives the tongue to sound, the thought to soar, 

The soul to be ." 

But Lord Byron was to depicture the feelings of a mind like Cain's, 
who, unhappily, had imbibed, and had suffered Lucifer to saturate 



WITH NOTES. 213 

him still deeper with, notions and impressions hostile to, and dero- 
gatory of, his maker. It is therefore not to be a matter of surprize, 
that, in these very animated and expressive lines, Cain should as 
he has done, have gone to the very verge, by nearly, if not quite 
ascribing self-existence or self-creation to those splendid effects of 
divine power ; to man's perceptions great, though to deity not so ; 
and even nothing, in the estimation of God himself, if his word may 
be credited, compared with the human soul, destined as that is, to 
an endless existence of the utmost interest. Cain, however, is here 
represented to have yielded himself to far different sentiments. He 
is carried away, by the blaze of external and perishing things, from 
his and their creator, and from himself. How unlike to Plato and 
to Cicero ! Yet he was alive to what he deemed some perception of 
eternity, " intoxicated with eternity." Eternity itself is doubtless 
the most serious of considerations. It is that which makes man 
important ; otherwise an insect, buzzing or fluttering his hour. But 
should eternity procure to us, by our own neglect, eternal wretched- 
ness, the idea is, or should be, tremendous. Self-condemnation, 
without end, and without hope ! What worse can be conceived ? 
as Adah has strongly expressed it, " remorse of that which was, 
and hope of that which cometh not !" Cain's wishing to die as atoms 
die, if he may not know these tilings in their might and knowledge, 
savours more of enthusiasm, than of soundness of mind, to say the 
least; but his doubting the death of atoms has a very atheistical 
appearance at any rate, it must be confessed ; and as to their " might 
and knowledge," they seem to be words without any appropriate 
meaning; unless he meant, as perhaps he did, to ascribe to them 
self-creation, or self-existence, and intelligence ; which is merely 
atheistical of course. His concluding estimate of his "thoughts," and 
his " dust," and his repeated desire of extinction, if he might not see 
these things nearer, are indications of a mind in some degree puerile, 
as well as totally estranged from its proper centre its creator. 



214 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

Art thou not nearer ? look back to thine Earth ! 

CAIN. 

Where is it ? I see nothing save a mass 
Of most innumerahle lights. 

LUCIFER. 

Look there ! 

CAIN. 
I cannot see it. 

LUCIFER. 
Yet it sparkles still. 

CAIN. 
What, yonder! 

LUCIFER. 
Yea. 

CAIN. 

And wilt thou tell me so "? 
Why, I have seen the fire-flies and fire-worms 
Sprinkle the dusky groves and the green banks 
In the dim twilight, brighter than yon world 
Which bears them. 



WITH NOTES. 215 



LUCIFER. 



Thou hast seen both worms and worlds, 
Each bright and sparkling what dost think of them? 

CAIN. 

That they are beautiful in their own sphere, 
And that the night, which makes both beautiful, 
The little shining fire-fly in its flight, 
And the immortal star in its great course, 
Must both be guided. 

LUCIFER. 

But by whom or what ? 

CAIN. 
Shew me. 

LUCIFER. 
Dar'st thou behold? 

CAIN. 

How know I what 

I dare behold 1 as yet, thou hast shewn nought 
I dare not gaze on further. 

LUCIFER. 

On, then, with me. 
Wouldst thou behold things mortal or immortal ? 



216 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

Why, what are things 1 



Sit next thy heart ? 



LUCIFER. 

Both partly : but what doth 

CAIN. 
The things I see. 



Note 38. 

This part of their conversation in the Abyss of Space commences 
with rather interesting observations, which seem to bring us into 
company with these adventurers, upon the amazing distance they 
were at from the Earth ; so that Cain could scarcely believe that 
what Lucifer pointed out as being it, was so in reality. Cain's 
recollection of the fire-flies, and fire-worms, in his own world, shews 
his attention to the smaller, as well as greater works of nature ; or 
rather, of nature's author. Lucifer's question, what he thinks of 
them ? produces from Cain a conclusion that all must; little, as well 
as great, be guided. From this, one would have hoped, that he 
was abandoning his atheistical inclinations, and approximating the 
right sentiments of Plato, and of Cicero, and those other enlightened, 
powerful, and ingenuous minds, among the unchristianized heathen, 
who thought with them. But, no ! Lucifer, in his artful manner, (to 
keep Cain still advancing in his renunciation of his maker,) asks him 
" but by whom, or what" guided ? A question, not without 
a deep meaning, as will appear presently ; for, instead of replying 
that his father's God, and his own God, made them all, and guided 
them ; what does Cain, but, like the needle to the pole, instinctively 



WITH NOTES. 217 

turn him to his chosen " guide, philosopher, and friend," the foe of 
God and man, with " shew (thou) me." Lucifer begins his res- 
ponse by aiming to excite an apprehension in Cain of something 
wonderful or tremendous, the more effectually to secure his hold 
upon his mind; "dar'st thou behold?" Cain very sensibly 
replies, by demanding how he can know what he dare behold ? but 
adds, he dares gaze further on all that Lucifer has yet shewn him. 
Lucifer then seems to dart on with another amazing, yet easy, exer- 
tion of his locomotive powers, and then asks him, conjurer-like, 
if he "would behold things mortal or immortal?" which draws from 
Cain an enquiry " what are things ?" and which his instructor 
then tells him are partly both ; and he then asks Cain what sits next 
his heart. This apparently simple question will appear soon to have 
been intended to lead to a train of important results; for Lucifer 
asks his pupil no question, but to prepare him, imperceptibly, and 
unsuspiciously for that ultimate state of mind he was aiming to bring 
him into. On Cain's replying, that the things he men saw, did then 
sit next his heart, some rather interesting discourse follows. 



LUCIFER. 

But what 
Sate nearest it ? 

CAIN. 

The things I have not seen, 
Nor ever shall the mysteries of death. 

LUCIFER. 

What, if I shew to thee things which have died, 
As I have shewn thee much which cannot die? 



218 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

Do so. 

LUCIFER. 

Away, then ! on our mighty wings. 

CAIN. 

Oh ! how we cleave the blue ! The stars fade from us ! 
The Earth ! where is my Earth 1 let me look on it, 
For I was made of it. 

LUCIFER. 

'T is now beyond thee, 
Less, in the universe, than thou in it : 
Yet deem not that thou canst escape it ; thou 
Shalt soon return to earth, and all its dust ; 
'T is part of thy eternity, and mine. 

CAIN. 
Where dost thou lead me ? 

Note 39. 

The " mysteries of death," then, it seems, were still the object 
of Cain's vitiated curiosity, and what had sat nearest his heart. These 
mysteries he despairs of ever seeing, unaware as he was of being, at 
that very moment, under Lucifer's guidance, in the road to acquaint 
himself with them ; and that, dreaded as they were, by his own intro- 
duction, through the procuration of his chosen friend and guide. 
But we have seen, that death is no mystery at all. Its nature and 



\V1TH NOTES. 219 

consequences have been explored, and found to be friendly, and that 
in the highest degree, to all who consider it aright, upon the prin- 
ciples of the revelation before adverted to. It is true that man's 
mortal body must undergo decomposition, and be resolved into dust 
again, as Lucifer has said. But what has man's spirit to do with 
that? His spirit is etherial and immaterial. It must be more 
exquisitely sensible also without, than with, the cumbrous investi- 
ture of flesh and blood ; or, as Lucifer and Cain would, not un- 
aptly, term it, " dust," or " clay." From all this, death, we know, 
sets the imprisoned spirit free. Then, if tutored to have sought 
things above, to them it gladly soars. Instantly, on the sinking 
body's granting its dismission, it enters upon a state of peaceful, but 
ineffably blissful, expectation of re-union, even with its former com- 
panion, refined and glorified, and fitted to enjoy together a happy 
immortality. Where then the mystery, except in that goodness which 
has provided all this for man ? Man has but one concern in this 
affair : that is, to be, in his present state, and by Jesus Christ, uni- 
ted to that goodness, through the medium of the revelation we have 
considered. Be this neglected, the effect is no mystery still ; yet 
awfully tremendous. What philosophy then is that, which contrives, 
" in the flight of three score years, to push eternity from human 
thought ?" 

Cain, nevertheless, gladly assents to Lucifer's proposition to 
shew him things which had died, as well as that which, (he said,) 
could not die. With respect to the first, we must beg to demur, at 
least, to that offer ; for no human being had, then, died : and as to 
what Lucifer, presently, will say had lived, that is not so easily 
proved as said. With respect to what he says he had shewn Cain 
as things that could not die, he must of course mean, the systems of 
creation and atomic worlds they had been passing through, and to 
which he and Cain were so disposed to attribute self-existence and 
immortality ; but with what reason, we have seen and shall see ; to 
say nothing of revelation, which settles all disputes upon that subject, 
until that revelation itself can be overturned upon rational demonstra- 



220 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

tion. It says " they shall perish." Cain's sensations, upon expe- 
riencing the effect of the fresh spring which Lucifer causes him to 
take with him into the abyss, are very natural ; as are also his desires 
of another look at his quick-receding Earth, before he loses it entire- 
ly ; as the mariner leaving his native nook of land, takes his last 
glance of its extremity - for he " was made of it." Yet, in another 
point of view, it seems obvious to reflect upon the unhappiness of 
attachment to evanescent things, if that attachment be not subdued, 
or kept in its proper place, by a certainty of our welcoming things 
permanent, which we are inevitably approaching. Lucifer, however, 
quickly tells him, that, inconsiderable as his Earth was to him now 
in appearance, and still less in the universe, yet he could not escape 
it, but must return to it ; for it was " part of his, and of his own eter- 
nity." By this last expression, he means, I presume, if he mean 
any thing, that material and immaterial beings are all equally eternal ; 
thus huddling up all existence into one essential, common, necessary, 
eternal and unexplainable something, (or nothing,) to the exclusion 
of a first cause. It gives Cain a past eternity, as well as Lucifer ; 
which is the thing he affects. But this cannot be admitted ; at any 
rate with respect to Cain and Lucifer; because revelation flatly con- 
tradicts it. And with respect to matter, we have seen, exclusively 
of revelation, the reasons against believing it to be even eternal ; and 
much more, against its being self-created, or self-existent. For even 
if it be admitted that there have been creations by deity, both intel- 
ligent and unintelligent, co-eternal with himself; and that God has 
never been without external manifestations of his glory and goodness ; 
yet what has become of the intelligent part of those creations, since 
revelation speaks not of them ? Or is the silence of revelation no 
bar to things it does not notice ? At most, therefore, if this idea of 
an eternal creation, material and immaterial, can be admitted, con- 
sistently with scripture, it then may be : but if it cannot be made 
consistent with scripture silence, then it cannot be so admitted ; be- 
cause any suppositions which contradict a divine revelation, as the 
Christian revelation is, must be false. Nor is the disquisition mate- 



WITH NOTES. 221 

rial ; for it is unessential to man's true happiness. But man's adher- 
ence to the word of God, is essential to his happiness. 

Cain seems overwhelmed with the scene before him of, perhaps, 
a horribly dismal, as well as alarmingly deep and interminable region 
of abyssal space ; " Where dost thou lead me ?" But this appa- 
rently anxious enquiry, leads to other Luciferianly-curious proposi- 
tions. The grand-master (of spirits) tells him he is leading him 



LUCIFER. 

To what was before thee ! 

The phantasm of the world ; of which thy world 
Is but the wreck. 

CAIN. 
What ! is it not then new ? 

LUCIFER. 

No more than life is ; and that was ere thon 
Or / were, or the things which seem to us 
Greater than either : many things will have 
No end ; and some, which would pretend to have 
Had no beginning, have had one as mean 
As thou ; and mightier things have been extinct 
To make way for much meaner than we can 
Surmise ; for moments only and the space 
Have been and must be all unchangeable. 
But changes make not death, except to clay ; 
But thou art clay and canst but comprehend 
That which was clay, and such thou shalt behold. 



222 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

Clay, spirit ! What thou wilt, I can survey. 

LUCIFER. 

Away, then! 

CAIN. 

But the lights fade from me fast, 
And some till now grew larger as we approach'd, 
And wore the look of worlds. 

LUCIFER. 

And such they are. 

CAIN. 
And Edens in them ? 

LUCIFER. 

It may be. 

CAIN. 

And men ? 

LUCIFER. 

Yea, or things higher. 

CAIN. 

Ay 1 ? and serpents too? 



WITH NOTES. 223 



LUCIFER. 

Wouldst thou have men without them 1 must no reptiles 
Breathe, save the erect ones ? 

Note 40. 

The information, if information it may be called, which Lucifer 
has just above given Cain, though it may lead to much curious and 
endless lucubration, yet drives us to the old enquiry Is it useful ? 
that is, conducive to the real welfare and happiness of man ? For 
Lucifer and Cain, both, have said much, and will say more, about 
the evil in the world, and the misery men suffer through that same 
evil. Now if men do actually suffer, (from whatever cause, and if 
suffering be undelectable,) then, is it not more desirable to pursue 
those speculations, which have a tendency to remove that suffering, 
than those which have no bearing at all, or an evil bearing, upon it ? 
In that view then, it is quite unimportant to man, whether his world 
be, as Lucifer will have it, only the wreck of a former world, or not. 
But if it promote God's glory, and do not contradict his word, nor 
create any irrational and wrong thoughts of deity, to believe it, there 
may be no harm in so doing. We know this Earth has been once, 
with its inhabitants, destroyed as to its dress and furniture, but res- 
tored again ; and that without any imputation upon the divine good- 
ness as the moral governor of his creatures. Had he not been good 
(and what is wholly good, of course has no place for evil) he would 
not have so restored the world. 

With respect, however, to Lucifer's assertion, (in answer to 
Cain's enquiry,) that this world is no more new than life is ; and, 
that life was, before either Cain or himself; and even before things 
which seemed to them greater than either ; a little investigation is 
necessary. If the world were no more new than life was, then of 
course the world was as old as life itself, which is God, who is essen- 



224 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

tial life: for his revelation says "in him was life." And so say 
Plato and Cicero too. Now even if scripture do not say that matter 
has not always been, as an eternal effect of divine power and good- 
ness ; yet it does say that this world was not so, but was brought 
into existence, about, as is rationally calculated, six thousand years 
ago, and no more. So far then, at any rate, Lucifer errs ; for the 
world is newer than life. He says, further, that this "life" was 
before Cain and himself. That is, of course, self-evident. But, 
when he says, that it was before things which seem to them greater 
than either of them, that will not do : for nothing seemed to Lucifer 
to be greater than himself, except the Omnipotent ; and he was hard 
put to it to admit even that. He must therefore mean, that this same 
life was before God ; and that God himself, as well as Lucifer and Cain, 
and the world, are merely the effects of a certain undefinable principle 
of life, which gave birth to all. "This is metaphysical refinement, and 
atheism, of sufficiently high nature, certainly. Who can go further ? 
Why, Lucifer himself tries to do it, in what follows ; for he asserts that 
God had as mean a beginning as Cain had. This is evidently what he 
intends by saying, that many " things," which pretend to have had no 
beginning, had one as mean as Cain's. Now no being, or " thing," but 
God, ever pretended to have had no beginning. Or, if it be said that 
Lucifer pretended to the same, yet we cannot suppose that he meant 
so to debase himself. But all this is opposed to the greatest among 
the ancients ; to say nothing of revelation. He is right however in 
saying, that many things will have no end ; because scripture declares 
it, and that he himself is one of those things, and angels and men, 
who associate with him, are others of those things. The same may 
be said of God. But this world we know will have an end. As to 
his " mightier things extinct, to make way for much meaner than we 
can surmise ; " that seems merely imaginary, or poetic, and is perhaps 
partly on the Cuvierian system of a pre-adamite world ; which system, 
so far as not contradicted by revelation, may be harmless, however 
useless. His next proposition, that " moments only, and the space, 
(" the" space, for rythm, I presume,) have been, and must be, all 



WITH NOTES. 225. 

unchangeable," seems correct, if he mean his moments as parts of 
time, and time as a portion of eternity ; for eternity is unchangeable 
without a doubt. A similar meaning may apparently be given to the 
unchangeableness of space ; as we seem unable to conceive of the 
absence or variableness of space, either in the eternity that is past, 
or to come. But it does not follow, that because eternity and space 
are unchangeable, they alone are so. God is unchangeable; and 
eternity and space are not God ; nor can it be allowed, as I suspect 
some have maintained and perhaps do maintain, that God, and space, 
and eternity, are all one ; a species of atheism, of course, confound- 
ing things most distinct, and disregarding every principle of rational 
and moral evidence, as well as common sense. Lucifer then says, 
that " changes make not death, except to clay ;" and he tells Cain 
he is clay. Before, he told him he was a reptile. By the last expres- 
sions however, it should seem he intended, that although the bodies 
of men are subject to death, on account of a certain change to take 
place in them, yet that no such change can cause man's spirit to die. 
To this there seems no other objection than, that revelation speaks 
of a death even to man's spirit ; viz. consisting of a total loss and 
extinction, not of perception generally, but of the capability of per- 
ception of spiritual happiness ; the consequence of which must be, 
the perception of spiritual as well as bodily misery. This appears 
deserving of man's consideration, as do also the means of avoiding 
it ; for it is what the scriptures call " the second death," commencing 
after the resurrection of the body, and the final judgment. But pos- 
sibly he means also, that the changes which the whole creation might 
undergo, did not occasion death to any thing but man. If, again 
by this he meant to allege the eternity of matter, however modified, 
in opposition to absolute annihilation, perhaps scripture does not 
discountenance that ; though, then, would even the " clay" of man's 
body be a subject of death, in this meaning of Lucifer's? He then 
repeats to Cain, that he is clay, and can only comprehend that which 
was clay, and that such he shall behold. But this compliment to 
Cain, and to human nature, requires observation. For though man 

Q 



228 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

But distinct. 
Thou scekest to behold death, and dead things ? 

CAIN. 

I seek it not ; but as I know there are 

Such, and that my sire's sin makes him and me, 

And all that we inherit, liable 

To such, I would behold at once, what I 

Must one day see perforce. 

LUCIFER. 

Behold ! 

CAIN. 

"T is darkness. 

LUCIFER. 

And so it shall be ever ; but we will 
Unfold its gates ! 

CAIN. 

Enormous vapours roll 
Apart what's this? 

LUCIFER. 
Enter I 



WITH NOTES. 229 

CAIN. 

Can I return ? 

LUCIFER. 

Return ! be sure : how else should death be peopled 1 
Its present realm is thin to what it will be. 
Through thee and thine. 

CAIN. 

The clouds still open wide 
And wider, and make widening circles round us. 

LUCIFER. 
Advance ! 

CAIN. 
And thou ! 

LUCIFER. 

Fear not without me thou 
Couldst not have gone beyond thy world. On ! on ! 

{They disappear through the clouds. 

Note 41. 

On Cain's remarking the receding lights, and enquiring of his 
powerful conductor, perhaps in some consternation, whither they 
were flying ? Lucifer replies, " to the world of phantoms, which 



230 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

are beings past, and shadows still to come." But this is confessedly 
poetic, and as visionary as the phantoms of the past, and the shadows 
of the future themselves were ; and, as Lucifer himself afterwards 
acknowledges, when he tells Cain that all he had been shewing him 
was a vision. As to any reality therefore in that vision, or in these 
pliantasmagoric representations, the idea must be dismissed, however 
amusing they may be. For they all seem at variance with the repre- 
sentations given by the unerring guide the revelation of truth. But 
other matters will soon occur, of more interest, and requiring more 
serious attention ; for although the tilings themselves be considered as 
merely fictitious, yet not so the ideas to which they give birth ; they 
are real and important, in one sense or another. It cannot be denied, 
still, that Cain's description of these regions is somewhat striking ; 
at any rate to a mind not pre-engaged by important realities. Luci- 
fer observes to Cain, that what he saw, though obscure, was distinct ; 
and reminds him, that he had sought to behold death, and dead 
things. This, Cain does not seem quite to relish, or acquiesce in ; 
but confesses he had an inclination to behold, at once, what he under- 
stood he must behold one day, perforce. The entrance into the 
realms of death, as exhibited by Lucifer, has something awful ; - 
clouds, and darkness, and enormous vapours are their gates ! There 
Lucifer unfolds, and discloses a scene, which Cain, bold as he was, 
does not describe, but seems to start at, and exclaims, " what 's this ?" 
and upon being bid by Lucifer to enter, he seems to decline it ; and 
chooses rather to ask if he can return? Now here I think Lord 
Byron, in putting this most appropriate and important enquiry into 
Cain's mouth, must have taken a leaf, or part of a leaf, out of the 
book of Job, wherein it is said of a certain character, whom, I doubt, 
Cain too much resembled, " he believeth not that he shall return out 
of darkness." Besides, it is further due to Lord Byron, that he has, 
in the person of Cain, given an instance of an individual of his athe- 
istical character ; or if not atheistical absolutely, yet so hostile as he 
was to his creator ; being alarmed at the idea of entering a place of 
terrific description, from which he may not be able to escape. Did 



WITH NOTES. 231 

Lord Byron take his notion from that passage of the New Testament 
which states, that Lucifer's horrible territory (Hell) is bounded by a 
gulf which, having once passed, none can repass back again to life, 
but must remain there forever ? [The irremeabilis undo, and navies 
Styx interfusa, of Virgil ; and the qui ter Geryonen Tityonque 
tristl compescit unda, of Horace ; shew the ancients to have enter- 
tained serious thoughts of futurity : and whence they derived them too, 
perhaps.] The reason, which Lucifer, however, here gives to induce 
Cain's belief of his assurance that he should return, seems satisfacto- 
rily consistent with the truth, according to revelation : for doubtless 
these deathful regions (at least what is analogous to them) have become 
populous as he foretold ; yet not principally from Cain's progeny, 
which became so soon extinct at the deluge. After Cain's further 
remarks on the fearrulness of the place, and Lucifer's repeated encou- 
ragement to rely on him for safety ; they seem to advance, and to 
plunge into the midst of these shades and horrors. Then succeed 
stranger visions still. 



232 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



SCENE II. 

Hades. 
Enter LUCIFER and CAIN. 

CAIN. 

How silent arid how vast these dim worlds ! 

For they seem more than one, and yet more peopled 

Than the huge briliaut luminous orbs which swung 

So thickly in the upper air, that I 

Had deem'd them rather the bright populace 

Of some all unimaginable Heaven 

Than things to be inhabited themselves, 

But that on drawing near them I beheld 

Their swelling into palpable immensity 

Of matter, which seem'd made for life to dwell on, 

Rather than life itself. But here, all is 

So shadowy and so full of twilight, that 

It speaks of a day past. 

LUCIFER. 

It is the realm 
Of death. Wouldst have it present 1 



WITH NOTES. 233 

CAIN. 

Till I know 

That which it really is, I cannot answer. 
But if it be as I have heard my father 
Deal out in his long homilies, 't is a thing 
Oh God ! I dare not think on 't ! Cursed be 
He who invented life that leads to death ! 
Or the dull mass of life, that being life 
Could not retain, but needs must forfeit it 
Even for the innocent ! 

LUCIFER. 

Dost thou curse thy father ? 

CAIN. 

Cursed he not me in giving me my birth I 
Cursed he not me before my birth, in daring 
To pluck the fruit forbidden ? 

LUCIFER. 

Thou say'st well: 

The curse is mutual 'twixt thy sire and thee 
But for thy sons and brother 1 ? 

CAIN. 

Let them share it 

With me, their sire and brother ! What else is 
Bequeath'd to me! I leave them my inheritance. 



234 CAIN, A MYSTERY 



Oh ye interminable gloomy realms 
Of swimming shadows and enormous shapes, 
Some fully shewn, some indistinct, and all 
Mighty and melancholy what are ye ? 
Live ye, or have ye lived ? 

LUCIFER. 

Somewhat of both. 

Note 42. 

The abyssal travellers are at length arrived at their destination, 
promised by Lucifer, Hades; the state of the dead ; "the realm of 
death," as denominated by him. It is almost superfluous to remark, 
that however the poet's fancy is displayed throughout the description 
of these regions, yet it is merely ideal. Hades, the state of the 
dead, in scripture imports that state generally ; viz. the condition of 
spirits which have left their bodies; and not a place. Revelation, if 
established, is man's guide on this point ; and it teaches, that the 
state of every departed spirit, immediately on its quitting the body, 
is, a condition of incipient happiness, or incipient misery. This has 
been before noticed. In answer to Lucifer's enquiry of Cain, if he 
would have death present, he wisely declines that favour also, on the 
ground of his ignorance of its nature ; and refers to his father's long 
homilies upon it, from which he had concluded it must be something 
dreadful, as he has before sufficiently declared. But with all possi- 
ble respect for Cain's veracity, I could scarcely have thought it likely, 
that Adam would have talked (or preached, if Cain like it better) so 
dismally of death. For it is not to be supposed, that the Almighty 
had revealed to Adam any terrific, or indeed any specific information 
as to the nature or consequences of death. That at least does not 
appear. That he should die if he transgressed, is, simply, all the 
Almighty appears to have told him : and even that was afterwards 



WITH NOTES. 235 

softened by the cheering promise. Whence, then, this morbid fear 
of death, in Cain ? Nothing but unpardoned guilt ought to make 
death either dreadful or hateful ; but that, well may. Cain's impre- 
cations, on the Almighty, and on his Father, are horrible ; but shew 
the author's strong conception of character, in which, I suppose, nei- 
ther Shakspeare nor Milton have exceeded him, in shewing to what 
wickedness such persons as Cain may proceed. What he says of 
Adam's not retaining, but forfeiting, his life, has been sufficiently 
considered under former Notes. He chose to disobey his maker, and 
to incur death, fore-announced to him. No doubt his posterity were, 
as Cain insinuates, innocent of their ancestor's personal fault : yet, of 
their own they have faults enough and to spare. Cain, especially, is 
totally inexcusable for his inveterate enmity against his parent, and for 
his (self-destructive) inculpation of his creator. What follows between 
the two confabulators is equally futile and disgusting, it must be con- 
fessed. But instead of the curse being mutual, as Lucifer terms it, 
there was no curse at all from Adam to his Son. The only curse 
that was pronounced by the Almighty, was (not upon Adam, but) 
upon the ground ; and that merely in the way of being rendered 
somewhat less fruitful without some human labour. It was therefore 
absurd in Cain to talk of leaving a curse to his brother and sons as an 
inheritance ; an inheritance he never had. The address of Cain 
to the mighty and melancholy shadows and shapes is somewhat inte- 
resting, if we can forget realities and truth for a while, and transport 
ourselves to the scenes presented to us in this visionary description. 
As to Lucifer's telling Cain that the shadows and shapes were some- 
what of both kinds of that which Cain enquired after respecting them, 
viz. that they had lived, and yet lived in a partial manner; by the 
first, one can easily suppose he meant, they had formerly been 
in life entirely ; and by the last, we suppose he meant, that they 
now experienced a kind of existence, but far inferior, and perhaps 
altogether of a dismal, gloomy and melancholy nature, retaining 
their former appearance as to mightiness of stature, but melan- 
choly ; " mighty and melancholy," as Cain has it. But we are not 



236 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

to forget that it is all poetical and unreal, still. Cain's noticing what 
Lucifer said respecting these shadows' enjoyment of somewhat like 
life even now, leads to some important matter arising from the fol- 
lowing interrogation. 



CAIN. 

Then what is death ? 

LUCIFER. 

What ? Hath not he who made ye 
Said 't is another life 1 

CAIN. 

Till now he hath 
Said nothing, save that all shall die. 

LUCIFER. 

Perhaps 
He one day will unfold that further secret. 

CAIN. 
Happy the day ! 

LUCIFER. 

Yes ; happy ! when unfolded 
Through agonies unspeakable, and clogg'd 
With agonies eternal, to innumerable 
Yet unborn myriads of unconscious atoms, 
All to be animated for this only ! 



WITH NOTES. 237 

Note 43. 

Lord Byron has instruction in almost every line, which he con- 
veys through the medium of characters from whom we should not 
altogether expect it. Here, Lucifer, in answer to Cain's question, 
" then what is death?" glances at an important New Testament doctrine, 
viz. that death is, if not exactly what Lucifer terms it "another 
life," yet approaching it very nearly. One can hardly suppose Lord 
Byron had not the following passage in his mind, " Jesus said, I am 
the resurrection and the life ; he that believeth in me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live." This appears to be more than a casual 
agreement ; and if so, it amounts to an express acknowledgment, by 
Lucifer, of the proper deity of Christ " he who made ye." If God 
made man (as none but atheists deny) and if Christ made man as 
the scriptures affirm ; what follows, but that Christ must be God, 
unless the scriptures be untrue ? Here however Christ says, not, he 
that professes to obey my precepts, but, " he that believeth in me, 
though he were dead, shall live." Obeying follows, but is not a sub- 
stitute, for believing. But this introduction of the subject by Lucifer 
gives rise to another, and perhaps still more interesting view of it, 
and it is this ; Jesus Christ says further, as if extending his first de- 
claration " and whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never 
die." What is that but saying, that those who so believe in him that 
is, their spirits, shall not merely survive their bodies, as the spirits of 
all (not being annihilated) must do by their natural immortality ; but 
shall not experience that second death before adverted to ? Again, it 
is said of Christ, emphatically, that " in him was life ;" and none 
deny " life" to be in God, the Father, emphatically also. How can 
this community of attribute between God and Christ which is per- 
petually occurring in scripture, be rationally accounted for, but by 
the union of the two natures in Christ ? If not so, the scriptures, to 
a. plain mind, are most deceptive. 

But here is another remarkable allusion which Lord Byron 
causes Lucifer to make to the Gospel. He says, "perhaps one 



238 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

day he will unfold (which is done by the Gospel) that further secret ;'' 
meaning doubtless, the secret of death, being, as he terms it, ano- 
ther life : not far indeed, if at all, from the truth, as we have just seen. 
Does Lucifer say that sarcastically ? We shall see, and then judge. 
I am not sure. For upon Cam's rejoining, in apparent and some- 
what characteristic simplicity, " happy the day!" then comes 
Lucifer's damper, if I may be allowed the expression. But we will 
examine this damper, or intended extinguisher, of Cain's joyful 
anticipation. Lucifer then, speaks of this other life being so unfolded, 
through the unspeakable agonies of death. But it is very seldom, 
indeed, I conceive, that the agonies of death are any thing of that 
description. Perhaps much, very much oftener, it may be termed 
" the soft transition." This must be known to most. Few die in 
agonies. If they do, they are seldom very, if at all, sensible of 
them. God deals with astonishing mercy and tenderness in this affair 
also, though the very thing Adam expressly incurred. But how often 
are the pains of death caused by errors of life ! Does not temperate 
life, generally speaking, secure an easy death ? And even those who 
experience lingering declines, or other protracted dissolution, often find 
great alleviations, both mental and bodily. Lucifer's "agonies 
unspeakable" are therefore very greatly exaggerated ; nor is God to 
be hardly thought of for man's own faults. Then, as to this other 
life being " clogg'd with agonies eternal," that cannot be denied with 
respect to those who refuse the means God has provided for avoid- 
ing them. Jesus Christ said to some, " ye will not come unto 
me, that ye might have life." But, in candour and common sense, 
must not coming to Christ for life, mean something different from 
professing to obey his precepts 1 Apply the matter to ordinary sub- 
jects, for illustration. Then how is God chargeable with man's eter- 
nal misery ? Let any man say, whether his rejection of Christ as a 
Saviour be owing to his perception of God's having forbidden him 
to receive, or incapacitated him for receiving, Christ as such a Sa- 
viour. With regard to the numbers Lucifer absurdly alludes to as 
being animated for eternal misery only, where does revelation teach 



WITH NOTES. 239 

or countenance any thing of that kind ? And Lucifer is not to be 
believed upon his own word only. We have seen the reverse. Cain 
continues his remarks upon the strange scenes Lucifer presents to 
him. 

CAIN. 

What are these mighty phantoms which I see 
Floating around me 1 ? they wear not the form 
Of the intelligences I have seen 
Round our regretted and unenter'd Eden, 
Nor wear the form of man as I have view'd it 
In Adam's and in Abel's, and in mine, 
Nor in my sister-bride's, nor in my children's : 
And yet they have an aspect, which, though not 
Of men nor angels, looks like something, which, 
If not the last, rose higher than the first, 
Haughty, and high, and beautiful, and full 
Of seeming strength, but of inexplicable 
Shape; for I never saw such. They bear not 
The wing of seraph, nor the face of man, 
Nor form of mightiest brute, nor ought that is 
Now breathing ; mighty yet and beautiful 
As the most beautiful and mighty which 
Live, and yet so unlike them, that I scarce 
Can call them living. 

LUCIFER. 
Yet they lived. 

CAIN. 

Where? 



240 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

Where 
Thou livest. 

GAIN. 

When? 

LUCIFER. 

On what them callest Earth 
They did inhabit. 

CAIN. 
Adam is the first. 

LUCIFER. 

Of thine, I grant thee hut too mean to be 
The last of these. 

CAIN. 
And what are they ? 

LUCIFER. 

That which 
Thou shalt be. 

CAIN. 

But what were they I 



WITH NOTl'.S. 
LUCrFER. 

Living, high, 

Intelligent, good, great, and glorious things, 
As much superior unto all thy sire, 
Adam, could e'er have been in Eden, as 
The sixty-thousandth generation shall be, 
In its dull damp degeneracy, to 
Thee and thy son; and how weak they are, judge 
By thy own flesh. 

CAIN. 
Ah me ! and did they perish 1 

LUCIFER. 
Yes, from their Earth, as thou wilt fade from thine. 

CAIN. 
But was mine theirs 1 

LUCIFER. 
It was. 

CAIN. 



It is too little and too lowly to 
Sustain such creatures. 

LUCIFER. 

True, it was more glorious, 
it 



242 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



Note 44. 

The description which Cain gives of the imposing figures he 
saw in this land of phantoms and shadows, is somewhat curious, it 
must be confessed ; but the reality of their existence is, of course, 
quite another thing, and requires far other evidence than Lucifer's 
ipse dixit ; but which evidence is wholly wanting ; for I do not pre- 
sume that the evidence of M. Cuvier carries a jot more weight than 
his. As to their having lived, and that on Cain's Earth, and their 
being so great that Adam (the first of human beings only) was too 
mean to be the last in rank with them ; it is all of the same apocry- 
phal complexion. When Cain asks his conductor what these appear- 
ances now are, he replies what Cain shall be. But that cannot be 
admitted, until revelation be rejected; because revelation tells us 
that man, after death, shall be very different (as we have before 
observed) from a mere phantom, conscious of only very obscure and 
imperfect sensations at most. For though man's spirit, until the 
resurrection, will be in a separate state, yet it will be one of a posi- 
tive and great happiness, or the reverse. This has been glanced at 
already; but these high intelligences, though "mighty," are yet 
" melancholy," without any distinction : all melancholy : which can- 
not be, under the Christian dispensation. On Cain's enquiring what 
they had been, Lucifer replies (so far as I understand his Luciferian 
arithmetic) about sixty thousand times superior to Adam in Eden, 
in every living, high, intelligent, good, great, and glorious, attri- 
bute. Cain is evidently affected by this relation of the extinction of 
those high intelligences, or, I had almost said, " their high mighti- 
nesses." Cain's Earth, it seems, could not have sustained them, 
only that it was then " more glorious.'' But his concern for them 
appears in his next question : 

CAIN, 

And wherefore did it fall ? 



WITH NOTES. 243 

LUCIFER. 

Ask him who fells. 

CAIN. 

But how 1 

LUCIFER. 

By a most crushing and inexorable 
Destruction and disorder of the elements, 
Which struck a world to chaos, as a chaos 
Subsiding has struck out a world : such things, 
Though rare in time, are frequent in eternity. 
Pass on, and gaze upon the past. 

CAIN. 

'T is awful ! 

LUCIFER. 

And true. Behold these phantoms ! they were once 
Material as thou art. 

CAIN. 

And must I be 
Like them ? 

LUCIFER. 

Let He who made thee answer that. 
I shew thee what thy predecessors are, 
And what they were thou feelest, in degree 

R 2 



244 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Inferior as thy petty feelings and 

Thy pettier portion of the immortal part 

Of high intelligence and earthly strength. 

What ye in common have with what they had 

Is life, and what ye shall have death ; the rest 

Of your poor attributes is such as suits 

Reptiles engender'd out of the subsiding 

Slime of a mighty universe, crush'd into 

A scarcely yet shaped planet, peopled with 

Things whose enjoyment was to be in blindness 

A Paradise of Ignorance, from which 

Knowledge was barr'd as poison. But behold 

What these superior beings are or were ; 

Or, if it irk thee, turn tbee back and till 

The Earth, thy task I'll waft thec therein safety. 

Note 45. 

On Cain's enquiring of Lucifer the cause of the falling of the 
world when inhabited by these superior beings, he, in his own style, 
bids him " ask the feller ;" (that is, him who fells, or hews down ;) 
by which term of course he means to stigmatize the Almighty, whom 
he charges with mercilessly bringing down whatever he pleases, 
regardless of the sufferings he thereby creates to sensitive beings. But 
the total inapplicability of this defamation, to God, we have seen, 
and that it cannot be admitted upon any principle of moral evidence, 
which is totally against it ; because the divine character is incontesti- 
bly of an opposite nature. And as to his description of the manner 
of the falling of that world, which Cain calls awful, and his friend 
pronounces to be no less true, it is, of course, of similarly unfounded 
and imaginary character with the rest. Lucifer then, directing his 
attention to the phantoms again, assures Cain they were once mate- 



WITH NOTES. 245 

rial, and like him ; but refers him to his maker (insultingly to God 
of course) for information whether he should be like them. And 
after descanting upon Cain's despicable powers compared to theirs, 
he fairly says, that so much as he has in common with them, is life ; 
and what he shall have in common with them, death ; but that, we 
have seen, is not true : the death of the human race does not lead to 
this phantomic state, but a more sensitive state and condition a great 
deal. We cannot but acknowledge Lucifer's courtliness in again 
comparing mankind to reptiles ; though what particular species of 
reptile, as enjoying blindness, I do not exactly know. But if there 
be any such, they are God's creatures, and ought not to be despised. 
And if they do enjoy blindness, (and all creatures do, by the arrange- 
ments of divine goodness, enjoy their existence, whatever that may 
be ;) then, these very blind reptiles are superior to Lucifer, and their 
existence more desirable than his, until it be shewn that elevated 
misery is preferable to humble happiness. With respect to Earth 
being " a Paradise of ignorance, from which knowledge is barr'd as 
poison," that is evidently a fresh reflection upon God who prohibited 
the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; (not the tree 
of knowledge, as Lucifer pretends ;) but in fact no useful and good 
knowledge is barred from this world by the Almighty. The specific 
knowledge indeed, which was barred from man in Eden, was poison, 
in a very allowable and material sense ; but from which the Almighty 
and Beneficent Alchymist (if I may so speak) produced most health- 
ful streams of eternal life. On the contrary, we see and know how 
God \\asfilled the Earth, since Adam's days, with useful knowledge, 
though by degrees suited to man's progressive powers. What die 
ignorance was, which God certainly did require of Adam in Para- 
dise, we have seen ; but that ignorance was so far from being a bar 
to general and useful knowledge, that it seems reasonable to believe, 
if man had not incurred a great intellectual, as well as moral, loss, 
by his disobedience to his maker, he would, with his superior and 
undimimshed faculties, and unvitiated mind, have made vastly greater 
acquisitions in knowledge of the highest description, than he has 



246 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

since actually done ; although, through the unremitting goodness of 
his creator, the knowledge he has acquired, even of many things which 
in Eden would not have been needed, is, to say the least, far other- 
wise than contemptible. After inviting Cain's consideration of what 
these superior beings are or were, Lucifer tells him, if it were irk- 
some to him to do so, he would safely waft him back to till the Earth, 
his task. We shall see how willing Cain was to return, after this 
fascinating excursion : 

CAIN. 

No: I '11 stay here. 

LUCIFER. 

How long 1 ? 

CAIN. 

For ever ! Since 

I must oue day return here from the Earth, 
I rather would remain ; I am sick of all 
That dust has shewn me let me dwell in shadows. 

LUCIFER. 

It cannot be : thou now beholdest as 

A vision that which is reality. 

To make thyself fit for this dwelling, thou 

Must pass through what the things thou see'st have pass'd 

The gates of death. 



Even now ? 



CAIN. 

By what gate have we enter'd 



WITH NOTES. 247 



LUCIFER. 

By mine ! But, plighted to return, 
My spirit buoys thee up to breathe in regions 
Where all is breathless save thyself. Gaze 011 ; 
But do not think to dwell here till thine hour 
Is come. 



CAIN. 

And these, too; can they ne'er repass 
To Earth again ? 

LUCIFER. 

Their Earth is gone for ever 
So chang'd by its convulsion, they would not 
Be conscious to a single present spot 
Of its new scarcely harden'd surface 't was 
Oh, what a beautiful world it teas ! 



CAIN. 

And is. 

It is not with the Earth, though I must till it, 
I feel at war, but that I may not profit 
By what it bears of beautiful untoiling, 
Nor gratify my thousand swelling thoughts 
With knowledge, nor allay my thousand fears 
Of death and life. 



248 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



LUCIFER. 

What thy world is, thou sce'st, 
But canst not comprehend the shadow of 
That which it was. 

Note 46. 

Cain, what with his idea of the necessity of one day returning 
from Earth again to these shadowy regions ; and what with his sick- 
ness of all that " dust had shewn him" in his own world ; chooses to 
decline Lucifer's offer to conduct him safely back ; and prefers taking 
up his eternal abode at once, in shadows. That many, like Cain, 
are "sick of dust," that is, of this world, and that from various 
causes, is certain. Those causes are too well known to need being 
particularized. But whoever believes, in good earnest, the Christian 
revelation, and lives under improper influence, cannot be sick of, that 
is, disgusted with, life, so long as it pleases him who gave it him, to 
continue it. To be thoroughly disengaged from, in point of attach- 
ment, (to say the least,) so as to be glad of the prospect of escaping 
from it to a far better, in God's appointed time, is quite another 
thing. But nothing, save the authentic contents of his revelation, 
can rationally work this desirable state of mind in man. Without 
that sanction, it appears highly irrational to desire to quit the present 
life, even with the utmost of its inconveniences ; because we can by 
no means be rationally sure, except on gospel principles, of not ex- 
changing it for a much worse. Cain however, of all men, seems to 
have had the least possible cause to be dissatisfied with life. Nor 
were any of his relatives so ; then why he ? Lucifer tells him however, 
he cannot have his wish without passing through the gates of death ; 
which occasions Cain's asking, by what gate they entered ? Lucifer 
replies by his; and that his spirit buoys Cain up, to breathe where 
else he could not. As to Lucifer's existence, it has been shewn. 



WITH NOTES. C 249 

But if his existence is important to man, so of course his powers 
must be. He here gives an instance of his power, though not of the 
terrific kind ; nor does it seem incredible mat he should thus transport 
Cain, whether actually or in vision, need not be determined, when 
we recollect his transactions with his own creator, the Son, (in his 
humilitated state, afterwards,) by transporting him from place to 
place, and exhibiting things, either to his bodily sense, or to his mind ; 
though there does not appear to be sufficient ground for rejecting the 
literal account, as given in the New Testament, respecting Christ's 
temptations. 

It cannot, without refusing moral evidence so strong that die 
refusal of it would undermine all moral evidence whatever among 
men, be doubted, that it has pleased God, (and it cannot be but for 
wise and good purposes,) to permit to Lucifer very considerable 
power and influence over the human frame ; but still subserviently 
to his own (the divine) direction. And it is evident that Lucifer can 
cause in men the effects, or at least the appearances of properties and 
capacities beyond those which naturally belong to them. This is 
evident in the cases of demoniacal possession and influence recorded in 
scripture ; as well as, also, in numerous other instances of the same 
kind, of which there is too much moral evidence to allow their being 
reasonably doubted. It does seem indeed, that the progress of the 
Gospel, and of the improvement of the mind and intellectual powers 
of mankind, has greatly diminished the grosser instances of Luci- 
fer's power in this respect ; and it is possible also, that the Almighty 
has, for reasons of his own, seen it right, more specifically to abridge 
his operations in the present period of the world's existence. But is 
there not as much danger from the Scyllean advance of intellect on 
die one hand, as from the Charybdal abyss of ignorance on the other? 
If the latter expose to deception of one kind ; does not the former 
expose to deception of another kind ? And which is worse, it may 
be hard to say ; whether to believe too much, or too little. For, as 
before hinted at, what are not the evils to which man is exposed, by 
rejecting moral evidence of many things beyond his own personal 



250 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

knowledge ? And is it not a question, whether the same preference 
of what is called rationality in the present day, to evidence, do not 
as readily lead to the disbelief in God, as in Lucifer 1 Scripture 
speaks as decidedly of the one, as of the other. If we reject scripture 
therefore, in respect of Lucifer, and his operations ; why not reject 
God and his operations ? And what does that lead to ? But reason- 
able men are not prepared to say, the world would go on better were 
the belief in a supreme moral and providential governor thrust out of 
it, and all things left to chance, and man. 

But besides scriptural and other evidence, there are not wanting 
(vide Baxter, on the immateriality of the human soul) physiological 
reasons for crediting the alleged operations of Lucifer and his subor- 
dinate infernal agents. It is thought that the cases of extraordinary 
excitement in lunatics, or mad persons cannot be satisfactorily ac- 
counted for upon any other supposition than that of its being the work 
of those malevolent spirits ; (under God's permission ;) since physical 
causes, though they may affect the soul in the way of limiting its 
faculties, or deadening or impeding its activity, yet cannot be ima- 
gined to animate it in so terrible a manner as is often seen ; because 
matter, from its own inertness, is incapable of any action at all, un- 
less employed as an instrument by some other cause. Hence it is 
concluded, that some living, intelligent cause, operates upon the 
material organ, (the sensory, for instance,) and there forms those 
images or representations which the soul, always active, lively, and 
percipient, cannot but behold, and which thereupon excite in the 
soul, that extraordinary emotion of which we are speaking. It could 
not be the voluntary act of the soul (which never acts without volition) 
to be thus the tormentor of itself, as well as of its companion the 
body also, which it regards with affection, and without whose aid its 
own powers would be chiefly unemployed and useless ; for it is not 
permitted to act separately ; otherwise it might prefer to act as a 
separate person from the body altogether, unclogged by matter ; which 
is not the intention of the author of their united existence. But this 
is not meant to derogate from the divine influence of the Holy Spirit 



WITH NOTES. 251 

upon the soul, in an immediate manner. It is admitted, that die 
disorder of the material part of man may produce effects of such a 
nature as approximate to its own inertness and inactivity, such as 
idiocy, sleep, apoplexy, or the like ; but not cause rage, distraction, 
frenzy, unless wrought upon as above stated. Nor could the disease 
be lodged in the soul itself, which is an uucompounded, simple 
substance, and hath no parts, and therefore properly, no constitution, 
or corporeal frame : neither is it liable to any change or alteration in 
its own nature. Hence there appears no other way for its being thus 
affected, but from the cause already assigned. It should seem there- 
fore that the term " madness" carries with it a sort of imputation on 
the soul itself, as if chargeable with some fault in its own constitu- 
tion : an imputation it does not merit. On the other hand, it some- 
times is difficult to find the distinguishing line between mental afflic- 
tion of this nature, and bad moral character. The same reasoning 
is applied (in reference to the agency of spiritual beings) to the phe- 
nomenon of dreaming also ; in which state the soul is obliged, being 
ever awake, and attentive, and yet confined to the body, to behold 
whatever illusory representations are made on the sensory during sleep, 
the same as in the case of persons awake. But as to dreams, there 
seems to be latitude for the intervention of good and benevolent spirits 
also, either in the way of thus making useful or monitory images or 
impressions ; or perhaps by opposing and modifying the mischievous 
operations of evil spirits ; or by relieving the soul from them alto- 
gether, or in other ways of which we cannot be fully aware. And 
as evil spirits may make impressions for the soul's perception, which 
it abhors and dreads, and regards with aversion, and would gladly 
avoid if it could : so good spirits may impress subjects of an oppo- 
site nature, which the soul may contemplate with pleasure and wil- 
lingness, and possibly retain, and employ for its future use. These 
notions seem rather to be confirmed by, than to oppose, that petition 
in the form of prayer which Jesus Christ gave to his disciples at their 
request, " and deliver us from evil ;" which many persons, of com- 
petent judgment, have thought, might have been more appropriately 



262 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

rendered " the evil one ;" which the original word is believed to im- 
port, by way of eminence, when ascribed to Lucifer, or Satan ; 
since it expresses the idea of an agent, purposely evil, malignant, 
false, mischievous, vicious, wicked, habitually bad. Nor can it, I 
presume, be denied, that this view of the subject has a tendency to 
recommend an increased sense of man's dependance upon die unceas- 
ing goodness, and providential defence, of God, against these evils, 
or this " evil," to which he is exposed. I say, " evil," certainly ; and 
so does Christ himself; but doubtless in the qualified manner in 
which we have before considered it ; and in accommodation to com- 
mon language and perception. 

Cain was grieved, as it should seem, at the idea of these phan- 
toms never being able to repass to their world again, which Lucifer 
tells him was gone for ever. This is so scriptural, one cannot help 
supposing Lord Byron adopted the feeling and the idea from that 
source. It certainly invites to consideration ; for if a condition of 
happiness be lost, without a recompence, and we feel its loss, and 
are without hope beside ; what can be more affecting to so sensitive, 
and so helpless a creature as man ? Helpless, that is, more especi- 
ally, in the next and final state, deprived of the external resourses he 
possesses in this. Cain declares here, that he was not at war with 
the Earth, beautiful as Lucifer states it to have been, and as Cain 
allows it still to be; therefore his war was only with his maker ! and 
that, because he could not enjoy its beauties without toil ! But in 
that sentiment, he will not find any among the rational, and rightly 
disposed of mankind, to join him. As to his not being able to " gratify 
his thousand swelling thoughts with knowledge," he has not given us 
a very favourable specimen of his manner of thinking, nor shewn, 
to any rational mind, that his " swelling thoughts" ought to be gratified, 
or were worth gratifying. It is well known, there are thoughts no 
better than waking dreams : such, it must be confessed, were Cam's. 
He neglected realities, to pursue shadows, impertinencies, and des- 
truction. These " swelling thoughts" do not appear to have haunted, 
or to have been entertained by, his father, or his brother. Yet they 



WITH NOTES. 253 

were happy. But Cain would " have nought to do" with such hap- 
piness as theirs. He seems, with Lucifer, (having added his spirit 
to his own,) to prefer the " independency of torture." And, if that 
be desirable, it will be obtained, if sought. His complaint, how- 
ever, of not being able to allay his thousand fears of life and death, 
is more curious still, if possible. What could be his fears of life, 
seems hard to say. His was the only family on Earth, united and 
affectionate, as it should seem ; or, himself the only exception. From 
them therefore he had no evil to fear : and from whom else could he ? 
And excessive or unfounded fear of life, belongs only to the timid, 
or the insuperably nervous ; neither of which weaknesses seems at 
all applicable to Cain. As to his fears of death, too, they might 
have been all removed, by his accepting, with his father and mother, 
brother and sisters, that complete antidote against such fears, which 
the Almighty had, even at that early period, provided, by what 
Adah speaks of presently the " Atonement." Are fears of life 
and death desirable ? There certainly may be such fears in many 
besides Cain. And even if steeled against them here, their result 
will be realized hereafter, by all who, like this miserable Cain, for- 
sake their God, cultivate Luciferian companionship, and despise the 
antidote or remedy just mentioned. Lucifer however, condoles not 
much with his melancholy friend. His office is, in fact, not to allay, 
but to create and foment, discontents with, and enmity to, his maker. 
He coolly tells him, he sees what his own world is, but cannot com- 
prehend the shadow of what it was. Yet his own representation of 
it is a shadow also, notwithstanding the descriptive figures now about 
to be presented to our contemplation. 

CAIN. 

And those enormous creatures, 
Phantoms inferior in intelligence 
(At least so seeming) to the things we have pass'd, 
Resembling somewhat the wild inhabitants 



254 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Of the deep woods of Earth, the hugcst which 

Roar nightly in the forest, but ten-fold 

In magnitude and terror ; taller than 

The cherub -guarded walls of Eden, with 

Eyes flashing like the fiery swords which fence them, 

And tusks projecting like the trees stripp'd of 

Their bark and branches what were they 1 ? 

LUCIFER. 

That which 

The Mammoth is in thy world : but these lie 
By myriads underneath its surface. 

CAIN. 

But 

None on if? 

LUCIFER. 

No : for thy frail race to war 
With them would render the curse on it useless 
'T would be destroyed so early. 

CAIN. 

But why war ? 

LUCIFER. 

You have forgotten the denunciation 

Which drove your race from Eden war with all things, 

And death to all things, and disease to most things, 

And pangs, and bitterness : these were the fruits 

Of the forbidden tree. 



WITH NOTES. 255 



CAIN. 

But animals 
Did they too eat of it, that they mast die l . 

LUCIFER. 

Your maker told ye, they were made for you. 
As you for him. You would not have their doom 
Superior to your own "? Had Adam not 
Fallen, all had stood. 

Note 47. 

The Cuvierian system seems to be that which leads to these 
representations exhibited by Lucifer to Cain. But however imagin- 
ative or amusing such speculations may be, they cannot, I suppose, 
be shewn to be certain or very probable ; namely, that this Earth 
was formerly the habitation of larger and more powerful animals than 
at present ; at least to die extent here stated. In a rational point of 
view, the pursuit of that which we call knowledge, but which, if 
consisting in the discovery of what is useless to man, either for 
time, or for eternity, is, to say the least, lost labour. But if the 
acquisition of such knowledge be accompanied by a disposition, 
(perhaps springing from that very knowledge,) to forget or to deny 
God, or to neglect our spiritual and eternal welfare, it then becomes 
fraught with death. The greatest unhappiness of man is to be amused 
with toys of various kinds, and suffer them to shut out the most seri- 
ous realities from his mind. 

But we have now to notice another representation of Lucifer. 
He states that the fruits of the forbidden tree were, "war with all 
things, and death to all things, and disease to most things, and pangs, 
and bitterness." A melancholy catalogue, this ; but not to be denied, 
with some reasonable modifications. Yet these fruits were, properly 



25G CAIN, A MYSTEHY, 

speaking, not so much denounced by the Almighty on Adam's 
removal from Paradise, as they were the proper effects of his trans- 
gression ; which I think a fair distinction : for denunciation is a hard 
word, and death was personally denounced upon Adam only ; and 
that by way of gentle, though solemn warning. The modifications 
of this " war" are also to be noticed ; for they are many ; and the 
war itself, with the animals and the elements, and every thing else 
which man has to overcome, whether moral, physical, or intellectual, 
is much mitigated by a thousand providential circumstances of faci- 
lity ; and man's nature is much adapted to it ; so that the war is lit- 
tle more than the agreeable use of his natural faculties. Occasional 
difficulties and pains are not denied ; but even they have their allevi- 
ations. So-kindly has God tempered this war with all things. And 
besides that, is not this war considerably increased by man's own 
imaginations, and excessive and artificial desires ? Then, as to the 
" death to all things ;" that is true of every thing mortal, certainly. 
But to man, we have seen, almost by Lucifer's own shewing, that 
death may be considered nearly " another life ;" but certainly the en- 
trance to an incomparably better life than the present, if it be not 
man's own fault in rejecting or despising the way to it. If he do so, 
it must be confessed that the death Lucifer speaks of is the entrance 
to another death infinitely more dreadful ; but it will be. of the own- 
procuring of every individual who incurs it : a remedy and a refuge 
are provided. With respect to the " disease to most things ;" what 
things are exempt from it in some shape or degree or other ? Yet in 
many, so slight, as to be next to unimportant; and in others, the 
subject of very great reliefs, either from instinctive remedies, or skill 
of man, which God has kindly given him ; and man's diseases are 
well known to be greatly of his own making, and very avoidable by 
the right use of his physical and moral and rational nature : to say 
nothing of the counteracting skill and knowledge which God has so 
benignantly bestowed on him. The " pangs and bitterness," which 
Lucifer also enumerates, are no doubt sometimes considerable, and 
extremely various ; but we should, first, remember to what extent 



WITH NOTES. 257 

they are chargeable on man only ; and indeed, may it not be asserted, 
that they are wholly attributable to himself, if personal, whether 
mental or physical ? If they are of a relative kind, resulting from 
social connexions, have they not their mitigations ? But beyond all 
other considerations, there is revelation to cure what nothing else 
may ; and that is infallible and perfect. 

With respect to Cain's question whether the animals too had 
eaten of the forbidden fruit, that they must die ? I presume he meant 
not to ask what he could not but have known ; but, rather, to en- 
quire, why they should die, not having committed that transgression ? 
Lucifer's answer is full of matter, requiring consideration, and some 
discrimination too. We advert however first, to Lord Byron's honest 
confession and regret in his preface, that he could not always make 
Lucifer speak as a clergyman ; but now, we have before us, happily, 
a proof of his eminent success. For what more appropriate com- 
munication can proceed from the most eloquent or pious lips, to man, 
than an admonitory exhortation to remember, not only, or princi- 
pally, that the animals were made for him ; but more especially that 
man himself was made for his creator ? Here then, of Lord Byron 
it may be said, though in the person of man's grand enemy, that, 
like his own Abel, " he being dead yet speaketh." But Lucifer hav- 
ing given the theme, we ought not to pass it over neglectfully. In 
the first place, we should recognize its perfect accordance not only 
with the light which man had in Adah's day, as we have seen by her 
interesting address to deity, before noticed ; but, still more, with the 
revelation which the Almighty has so explicitly made to man, and 
which has been considered : for in that he declares, " the Lord 
hath made all (tilings) for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day 
of evil." And, " this people have I formed for myself; they shall 
shew forth my praise." And, " all things were created by him, and 
for him." Again ; " every one that is called by my name, for I 
have created him for my glory. Also ; " for thou hast created all 
things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." These are 
only a few out of abundant scripture testimonies to the truth of Luci- 



256 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

speaking, not so much denounced by the Almighty on Adam's 
removal from Paradise, as they were the proper effects of his trans- 
gression ; which I think a fair distinction : for denunciation is a hard 
word, and death was personally denounced upon Adam only ; and 
that by way of gentle, though solemn warning. The modifications 
of this " war" are also to be noticed ; for they are many ; and the 
war itself, with the animals and the elements, and every thing else 
which man has to overcome, whether moral, physical, or intellectual, 
is much mitigated by a thousand providential circumstances of faci- 
lity ; and man's nature is much adapted to it ; so that the war is lit- 
tle more than the agreeable use of his natural faculties. Occasional 
difficulties and pains are not denied ; but even they have their allevi- 
ations. So kindly has God tempered this war with all things. And 
besides that, is not this war considerably increased by man's own 
imaginations, and excessive and artificial desires ? Then, as to the 
" death to all things ;" that is true of every thing mortal, certainly. 
But to man, we have seen, almost by Lucifer's own shewing, that 
death may be considered nearly " another life ;" but certainly the en- 
trance to an incomparably better life than the present, if it be not 
man's own fault in rejecting or despising the way to it. If he do so, 
it must be confessed that the death Lucifer speaks of is the entrance 
to another death infinitely more dreadful ; but it will be. of the own- 
procuring of every individual who incurs it : a remedy and a refuge 
are provided. With respect to the " disease to most things ;" what 
things are exempt from it in some shape or degree or other ? Yet in 
many, so slight, as to be next to unimportant; and in others, the 
subject of very great reliefs, either from instinctive remedies, or skill 
of man, which God has kindly given him ; and man's diseases are 
well known to be greatly of his own making, and very avoidable by 
the right use of his physical and moral and rational nature : to say 
nothing of the counteracting skill and knowledge which God has so 
benignantly bestowed on him. The " pangs and bitterness," which 
Lucifer also enumerates, are no doubt sometimes considerable, and 
extremely various ; but we should, first, remember to what extent 



WITH NOTES. 257 

they are chargeable on man only ; and indeed, may it not be asserted, 
that they are wholly attributable to himself, if personal, whether 
mental or physical ? If they are of a relative kind, resulting from 
social connexions, have they not their mitigations ? But beyond all 
other considerations, there is revelation to cure what nothing else 
may ; and that is infallible and perfect. 

With respect to Cain's question whether the animals too had 
eaten of the forbidden fruit, that they must die ? I presume he meant 
not to ask what he could not but have known ; but, rather, to en- 
quire, why they should die, not having committed that transgression ? 
Lucifer's answer is full of matter, requiring consideration, and some 
discrimination too. We advert however first, to Lord Byron's honest 
confession and regret in his preface, that he could not always make 
Lucifer speak as a clergyman ; but now, we have before us, happily, 
a proof of his eminent success. For what more appropriate com- 
munication can proceed from the most eloquent or pious lips, to man, 
than an admonitory exhortation to remember, not only, or princi- 
pally, that the animals were made for him ; but more especially that 
man himself was made for his creator ? Here then, of Lord Byron 
it may be said, though in the person of man's grand enemy, that, 
like his own Abel, " he being dead yet speaketh." But Lucifer hav- 
ing given the theme, we ought not to pass it over neglectfully. In 
the first place, we should recognize its perfect accordance not only 
with the light which man had in Adah's day, as we have seen by her 
interesting address to deity, before noticed ; but, still more, with the 
revelation which the Almighty has so explicitly made to man, and 
which has been considered : for in that he declares, " the Lord 
hath made all (things) for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day 
of evil." And, "this people have I formed for myself; they shall 
shew forth my praise." And, " all things were created by him, and 
for him." Again ; " every one that is called by my name, for I 
have created him for my glory. Also ; " for thou hast created all 
things, and/or thy pleasure they are and were created." These are 
only a few out of abundant scripture testimonies to the truth of Luci- 



258 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

fer's declaration to his attentive auditor ; forming, it is true, a slen- 
der congregation. If all other preachers therefore should unfaithfully 
withhold this great and interesting truth from man, Lucifer alone 
must have the praise ; I mean the Lucifer of Lord Byron. Quo- 
tations may not be multiplied ; else it were easy to shew, from the 
oracles of truth, that God's end, in the whole creation, is to manifest 
his own glory ; and that the true intent of man's creation in particu- 
lar, is, to glorify his creator. God may, moreover, easily be shewn, 
from his word, to be exceeding tenacious of, or "jealous'' for, his 
glory. And most rightly. For the divine glory embraces all his 
attributes, his love, his mercy, and his goodness, as well as his jus- 
tice, his holiness, and his truth. But, though man was made for 
his creator's glory, and the true end, and paramount duty, of man, 
is to cultivate his existence, intentionally, and exclusively, with that 
view ; yet, God not being man, (who usually aims at his own glory 
very unworthily, and without regard to the happiness of those who 
contribute to it,) therefore man's own proper and true happiness is 
essentially connected with his glorifying his maker, and with his in- 
ward surrender of himself to him, and honouring him in every way 
in which the word, and providence, of God, may lead him to do it ; 
and that, to such extent, as the ability, given him of God, may en- 
able him to do. God then, is glorified by his creature man, in lov- 
ing, obeying, and venerating his maker supremely, as \hejirst object 
of all his rational, and intellectual, and affectionate, and moral nature, 
as required not only by reason, according to Plato, but also by the 
divine word, where that word is known ; and (as part of, and includ- 
ed in, that supreme devotedness to his creator's glory) in " loving his 
neighbour as himself," as required by the same authority. This is 
man's duty and his high and distinguishing privilege ; and this, as 
it should seem, the meaning of his being made for his maker, accord- 
ing to Lucifer's true announcements. How far man performs this 
duty, and enjoys this privilege, and thereby secures his own true 
happiness, let every one's conscience, enlightened by his maker's 
word and spirit, tell him. But if this be not man's sincere intent 



WITH NOTES. 259 

and desire, in this life, what can he rationally think must be his con- 
dition in the next ? If he delight not or desire not to delight himself 
here, in him who made him, and for whom he was made, how can 
he expect to do so hereafter ? And not delighting in God, what other 
object of complacency or means of happiness can he ever find ? 

In entreating my readers however (if, happily, readers I may 
have) to acquire and cultivate as their first and last concern, the love 
of God their maker, I only ask them to acquire and cultivate that 
feeling towards the author of all existence, which the most ingenuous 
and affectionate children can be imagined to experience towards the 
most generous and affectionate of parents. What hardship, what 
difficulty, what misery, in that ? If revelation be to be credited, and 
the testimony of multitudes upon multitudes of those who have em- 
braced it during the progress of eighteen hundred years ; it is the 
reverse of hard, difficult, or miserable. But is HE who died that we 
may live for ever, and who bore the divine displeasure against sin, 
to the very uttermost, that man may not is he to be less regarded 
than the Father ? Surely no. Jesus Christ therefore, even God our 
maker still, but in the person of the Son, in whom, and in whose 
mediatorial character, Jehovah can alone be visible in beatific vision, 
in heavenly glory he too, is to be equally regarded with the Father. 
Nor is the less reverential attention due to the same God, in the per- 
son of the Spirit, whose kind and gracious offices to man are equally 
inestimable, and indispensable. Without this divine influence, how 
is man's mind to be rightly directed, or man's affections to be raised 
to things above the dust ? For the advanced in life, then, what can 
be so consolatory as this three-fold motive for love to God our maker ? 
For the less advanced in life, what so worthy of their first regard ? 
and of which it may be said, it is at once " decus et tutamen," their 
defence and glory ? 

These are matters between every man and his creator, certainly. 

But they are (let the bustling and thoughtless world say, and Lucifer 

suggest, what they may to the contrary) most momentous, and should 

not be despised, if happiness, here and hereafter, be a rational object 

s 2 



260 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

of man's pursuit. Those who have God's word, have a sure and 
sufficient guide, and should trust none other ; though occasional and 
honest admonitions and exhortations are still useful. It is man's 
unhappiness not to pay due regard to that word, and to the influence 
and aid of that Holy Spirit, of whom it speaks, and to whom it 
directs, 

"As the star that watches, welcoming the morn." 

It is to be regretted, thatalthough we see the world perpetually leaving 
us in the course of time, as the ocean leaves the shore by its imper- 
ceptible ebbings, still we will act and think as if this world was our 
final home. We will not cultivate an acquaintance with that world 
between which and our souls the partition is so proverbially slight 
and of uncertain duration. Yet the transition will be more important 
than can adequately be imagined. Why then leave it to chance? 
Why not secure our maker's present and future friendship, his favour- 
able and blissful reception, when our spirits, disembodied, must 
stand either trembling or rejoicing before him ? If to do so were 
incompatible with all or any of the needful and rational purposes or 
pursuits of this life ; the case would be a different one. But it is not 
so. The favour of God, and the enjoyment of it paramountly to 
every other enjoyment, does not interfere with any human enjoyment, 
or felicity, that is not condemned by the known laws of morality and 
reason. Why then will we so throw away our immortal spirits, and 
doom them to eternal woe, for the sake of what? Can those 
things help or save us, for the sake of which we so act ? There may 
be, in some individuals, true religion with a defect of prudence and 
ordinary wisdom. But true religion, (viz. the union of man's heart 
with his maker, through and in Christ) does not require the absence 
of, but rather enjoins, all wisdom and prudence even in this world's 
concerns. But it certainly requires man not to make this world his 
god. If we do, the " god of this world" is our master and lord ; 
and him, as Lucifer has truly admonished us, we serve and worship. 



WITH NOTES. 261 

And what then 1 Having however secured (by God's grace) the 
heart to God in Christ, man cannot but glorify his maker, and bene- 
fit his fellow creatures, as its natural effect. No compulsion, no per- 
suasion then, is, generally speaking, necessary. All is voluntary. 
What is not voluntary we know to be never acceptable with God. 
This may certainly be exemplified in various modes and degrees 
according to circumstances. But even its negative effects are not 
unimportant. Where this principle reigns, and that state is enjoyed, 
it is sure to exclude immorality. Dishonesty cannot stand before it. 
Indulged vitiosity, in any shape, is incompatible with its existence. 
And so of all other infesters of human life and destroyers of social 
happiness. 

But Lucifer further reminds his disciple, that the animals were 
made for man, as man for God. Both true, certainly. Yet, doubt- 
less, the animals were made, to enjoy existence themselves, as well 
as for man's use. Nor were they made for his abuse, that I can find 
in the record of donation. Is this distinction sufficiently regarded ? 
Are not the animals abused to many God-forgetting, man-demoral- 
izing, Lucifer-gratifying purposes ; for man's irrational, unmerciful, 
amusement, rather than for his use ? For this abuse their common 
creator never designed them. Or, will it be said, that their faculties 
and powers prove them designed for such purposes ? That allega- 
tion may be answered first, by asking, if those purposes be such, 
whereby man can glorify his maker, in the feelings or expression of 
gratitude or thankfulness, for such use of the animals, in accordance 
with the divine word ; If not, those purposes must be wrong, if the 
word of God be right. Secondly : does it follow, that the animals 
were designed for the purposes in question, merely because they are 
capable of being trained to them by the art and skill of man? It 
is conceived, not so by any means : but were it so asserted ; it might 
then, thirdly, be asked, whether every use of the art and skill of 
man is necessarily, or certainly, agreeable to the mind and will of 
the Almighty, as developed in his word ? And fourthly ; whether, 
in point of fact, it be not too evident to be contradicted, that num- 



262 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

berless instances of die exercise of man's talents, and art, and skill, 
are diametrically opposed to the nature, and the word, of God ? 
But, to do Lucifer full justice, in this part of his admonition, it 
should be added that these observations may be extended to all sub- 
jects of human life, wherein we should remember that man was 
made for his creator ; meaning doubtless to glorify him, as has been 
said, by his rational and moral existence; else, what would the ex- 
pression mean, that man was made for God ? 

Lucifer, as we have seen, reminds man of the animals having 
been made for man, which, in a large sense, is true. The divine 
grant runs thus ; " have dominion over every living thing : into 
your hands are they delivered : every thing that liveth shall be for 
meat for you." Now this is clearly a dominion given to man, but 
not a tyranny. Are not the terms essentially different ? Does not 
the former mean lawful and just sovereignty ; the latter, despotic and 
lawless oppression? Do not all just sovereigns legislate protectively 
for their subjects ? do they not protect them ? Why then should not 
man legislate protectively (as indeed of late years has been attempted) 
for those subjects of his dominion, not tyranny, which God has 
thus graciously bestowed upon him, and of which legislation the al- 
mighty sovereign himself has so kindly and condescendingly set the ex- 
ample ? God has thus legislated for his inferior animal creation. Ought 
then, senatorial man to call this legislation "petty," which his creator 
deems not so ? Senatorial man, however, in his ready defence, has 
countenanced the assertion, that tyrannous, infernal cruelty to baited, 
"tortured," worried animals, is needful, or useful, to a nation's 
courage. But is not cruelty much oftener associated with cowardice, 
than with courage? Are not cruelty and every baseness usually 
united ? And are not the most part of truly brave men the most 
humane ? Look from the highest to the lowest grades of mankind 
in every age of the world, for examples. [And are not the animals 
also, generally, too much oppressed, beyond their strength and pow- 
ers, and even beyond the just, and reasonable wants of man ?] But 
if courage be in fact needful to a nation, yet are we prepared to 



WITH NOTES. 263 

admit, that bad morals are needful to a nation? Or, that good 
morals are not needful ? Is not cruelty of the very essence of bad 
morals ? Do we discard revelation ? If not, then does not revela- 
tion declare, that " righteousness (and what is righteousness but good 
morals ?) exalteth a nation ; but sin (and are not bad morals sin ?) is 
a reproach to any people"? Then, even if cruelty were neces- 
sary to courage, ought it to be cultivated at the expence of good 
morals, until revelation as well as common sense be exploded ? 
The same revelation also declares, that " a righteous man regardeth 
the life (doubtless meaning the entire treatment) of his beast." Then 
he who acts oppositely to that, must of necessity be an unrighteous 
(wicked) man. Now the " end of a righteous man," we are told, 
" is peace ;" but that " there is no peace to the wicked :" and that 
peace is emphatic, and extends to interminable existence. These 
are important considerations though arising out of Luciferian teach- 
ing. But is not consideration too little the habit of man in all times, 
and in these not the least ? And is not England, to all appearance, 
too fast verging to the condition of ancient Rome, prelusively to her 
decline and downfall, when (" da panem, da ludos") the people, if 
feasted and amused, cared for nought else ? Religion and freedom 
were then despised ! As if man (adverting now to amusements) 
had not serious and useful subjects enough in life, provident of the 
present, prospective of the future, to engage him rationally and 
agreeably, without Luciferian expedients for preventing him from 
regarding his true original and end, and important destination. On 
a dying bed, and at the judgment seat of Christ, what will avail the 
vicious, the frivolous, the irrational, the useless, the destructive, the 
time-murdering, the God-dishonouring, the God-forgetting amuse- 
ments of life ? Will not regret, not now to be conceived of in any ade- 
quate degree, be the wretched and hopeless and self-condemning 
result ? What else can we expect with any rationality, in the place 
of never-ending and still-increasing happiness, in the enjoyment of 
intellectual and spiritual gratifications, emanating from the Supreme 
himself! Why will not man thus "anticipate his immortality?" 



264 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Why will he tie himself down to things here which he cannot possess 
in that future state of being, and the craving for which may, possibly, 
constitute no small part of his unutterable misery. This soul-destroy- 
ing, and truly Luciferian, rage for frivolous and vicious amusement, 
seems to be recently, in some small degree, yielding to the progress 
of greater rationality, as is evident in the establishment of mechanical 
and literary and scientific institutions much to be admired and 
applauded, certainly ; but still with caution, however favourable the 
aspect in some respects may be. For science will not secure or even 
promote happiness to the soul in a future life and state of being . 
Lucifer fell not by frivolity and vice, but by pride of intellect. The 
latter may be, perhaps is, full as much his instrument of ensnaring and 
destroying, as the former. He himself fell by intellect, and self- 
adulation, and defiance of his maker. And does not neglect lead to 
defiance? Piety then is the only safe-guard ; nor is it, still, neces- 
sarily incompatible with science. 

Lucifer's observations have been seen to be fraught with matter 
of contemplation. His now reminding Cain of his maker's decla- 
ration that man was made for him, leads to the conclusion glanced at 
above that man should therefore consult for, and not disregard, the 
divine glory, as lately endeavoured to be explained, in all he " acts 
or thinks." To say the least, it seems that man should not act or 
think any thing designedly and habitually inimical, or derogatory to 
his creator, or to that relation of friendship and favour, which man 
ought, rationally, and solicitously, to wish to maintain with him. 
Whatever habits or practices therefore cannot be sanctioned by God's 
word, however speciously excused by their harmlessness, innocence, 
and so forth, is surely contrary to the possibility of preserving friendly 
intercourse with our maker whom we so purposely dishonour and 
despise. In a former note, an apophthegm has been suggested from 
Lucifer's hints, viz. " Anticipate thy Immortality." Lucifer now also 
affords matter for another, viz. " Man was made for God." May not 
the recollection of this truth save man from much error and misery, 
and promote his acquisition of his truest dignity, and only secure and 



WITH NOTES. 265 

most elevated happiness ? But does not this relate to man politically, 
as well as individually ? For is not political man as much God's 
moral creature, as is individual man ? If so, do not the few, who 
represent the many, come within that description? For does not 
representation imply moral similarity between the representative and 
the represented, and a community of interests ; and that what is good 
for the one is good for the other in their moral and political relation ? 
If it be good therefore for the represented to regard morality, and to 
make their creator's glory the first influential object of their existence, 
in order to the enjoyment of his favour and regard, wherein alone 
their existence can be happy ; then should not the same governing 
principles obtain as much among the representatives as among the 
represented ? This is certainly meant to apply to the great council 
of a nation. Can the question be evaded ? Should then such great 
council, as it were by rule, if not by statute, shut their creator out 
from their councils ? Were not they, as well as those they represent, 
made for him, and for his glory ? And does not man's happiness 
and welfare consist in consulting for and promoting it ? Are not 
that happiness and welfare, and that promotion of the divine glory, 
essentially connected ; and may it not be truly added, most gratefully 
so too ? Where then is the rationality of excluding from national 
councils all consideration for the mind and will of God, and confi- 
ning their pursuits and purposes exclusively to man's mind and will; 
as if God were not only " not in all their thoughts ;" but as if the 
represented nation itself had no God, and as if there were no supreme 
moral governor of the world ? But should not the revelation we 
have considered be first shewn to be a falsity, and then rejected ? 
Having done that, their proceedings would be consistent and safe ; 
otherwise most inconsistent and unsafe. What then must be thought 
of, or felt for a nation, professing a belief of a supreme moral gover- 
nor, and that the revelation in question is a reality and truth, whose 
great council nevertheless acted as if there were no such existence as 
that revelation, or the supreme whom it declares, and whose " eyes 
run to and fro through all the Earth, to shew himself strong in behalf 



266 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

of those whose heart is perfect towards him." It is indeed granted, 
that not even any individual is, or can be, so devoted to his maker's 
glory as he ought to be, in all his ways ; but there is much space 
between that, and not regarding God at all. Yet, has there not 
been a time, when, in the great council of England, the divine glory, 
and real religion, were consulted for, and, to some good extent, at 
least, made an object of sincere legislation ? " Hae tibi erunt Artes !" 
By the art, then, of piety to God, which includes justice towards 
man, it was, under the divine favour and protection, and when his 
name, and authority, and mind, and will, were heard and considered 
and venerated, and not forbidden in their councils, that England, 
rose ; became revered, and established ; and tyrants trembled and 
fell before her. But her rulers, then, believed the divine declaration, 
"Them that honour me I will honour; and they that despise me 
shall be lightly esteemed." Does not the page of fair history reveal 
such a period ? But if this national exaltation has been lost ; is it 
not because God and religion have been first too much abandoned ? 
Is God's name, or revealed will, or his glory (which always implicates 
justice and beneficence to man) permitted to be brought into question 
in the senate ? Yet can it be less incumbent on a nation collectively 
than it is individually, to acknowledge God in all their ways ; and 
carefully to consider if every proposed measure be agreeable to those 
principles which he has declared in his word, (the authenticity of 
which we have considered) and which he requires to be made the 
rule of man's conduct, toward himself first, and therein necessarily 
toward man also ? Are a few hundreds or scores of men, because 
in council assembled, therefore more mighty, more independent of, 
their maker, of the ruler of all things, and more capable, because thus 
confederated, of sustaining themselves without his protecting and 
supporting power? What can be more erroneous than such a sup- 
position ? Has not a great authority said, and an equally great 
authority repeated, that, " as Carthage has lost her liberties and pe- 
rished ; and as Rome has lost her liberties and perished ; so will 
England lose her liberties and perish, when her legislative shall be- 



WITH NOTES. 267 

come more corrupt than the executive?" But if this be true politi- 
cally (Heaven avert the sign !) may it not be applied with force a 
hundred and a thousand-fold more intense, if, for political liberties, 
we substitute religion ? For if a nation be politically to perish, when 
her legislative shall become more corrupt than her executive ; what 
must be her fate, when she loses her true PALLADIUM of sincere reli- 
gion ? That is, real, and internal, piety to God ? Externals pro- 
fit not, where the heart is absent. They are not accepted. Either 
then "the book" itself is a fable; or God has said, "shall I not visit 
for these things ? Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as 
this ? You only have I known of all the families upon Earth; there- 
fore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Questionless, Eng- 
land, of all the nations upon Earth, most resembles ancient Israel, in 
God's electing and sovereign dealings with her. England has been, 
and is, God's favoured people ; eminently the depository of his 
Gospel, as was Israel of his Law. But what has been the fate of 
Israel ? What has been the fate of once Christian Africa ? What, 
of once Christian Rome ? For has Rome the Gospel in its purity ? 
What is Romish Christianity ? What are Romish morals ? What 
is Romish, or African liberty ? Why then will not English councils 
legislate for God ? Is a nation even likely to be a loser by having 
God for her friend and her defence? Why will they despise him? 
Why do they practically renounce him ? What must be the conse- 
quence, when once his long-suffering shall have waited its appointed 
time ? But is England not, at this very moment, suffering under 
this God-renouncing system ? Fanes may be multiplied ; but 
God seeks the heart. He dwelleth not in temples made with hands, 
in which he finds no corresponding sentiments towards himself. 
What are the sacrifices he requires ? Pomp and ceremony delight 
him not. But far otherwise. [Isa. i. throughout, and Nahum iii. 
throughout. " Art thou better than populous No ?"] Yet, is there 
a Briton born, though mournful, when contemplating these tilings, 
whose expostulation will not end with 



268 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

" ENGLAND! with all thy faults, I love thee still;"? 

and, with a patriot of a much less favoured country, [so far as hu- 
man transiency will permit,] 

"Esro PERPETUA!"? 

But should not these things be considered ? 

In speaking of the animals, Lucifer uses the term " doom," 
which seems not justly applicable, and to be only employed odiously 
in the way of aspersion of his maker. Indeed it appears to be 
equally wrong even in regard to man. For dooming, or destining, 
is rather the act of Luciferian " tyrants" than of a righteous judge, or 
beneficent and wise legislator. But the animals, especially, were 
not only not doomed, but they were not even judged as man was, 
for they had not transgressed. As to the serpent indeed, his con- 
demnation, such as it was, was doubtless right, as proceeding from 
rectitude itself, whether man perceive it fully, or at all, or not. Yet 
some propriety, even man perhaps may see in that divine act. 

As the animals however do appear, or are supposed, to have 
undergone a change in their nature, and to have incurred some, per- 
haps much, loss of happiness and enjoyment in consequence of man's 
delinquency ; so, it is thought, there are some scriptural grounds for 
believing they will ultimately be delivered from their deteriorated 
condition, and be restored to their original and better nature, and 
unsuffering enjoyment of existence. Perhaps, against this notion 
may be quoted from scripture, " the spirit of man goeth upward, 
but the spirit of the beast, downward to the Earth :" but this does 
not seem discrepant with those other parts of scripture which appear 
to point to their restitution. It may mean only, that the spirit of 
the beast (doubtless immaterial, if not immortal like man's) does, 
in tiiejirst instance, go downward to the Earth, vanishing in death : 
yet this is not saying that God will not, much less, cannot, preserve 
the spirit of the beast if not naturally immortal, for its future restor- 



WITH NOTES. 269 

ation to the body. It seems also to be highly consistent with the 
divine goodness thus to recompense the animals for their unmerited 
sufferings on man's account, and from man ; so that, at the grand 
consummation it may appear, that nothing has been, as Lucifer 
would express it, "amerced of happiness," which has not sinned. 
And though many of the animals have not been the subjects of man's 
superiority, but have retained their liberty ; yet they may be happier 
if restored to those more innoxious dispositions we may suppose 
them to have been endued with. Clearly also, many parts of the 
animal creation were not made for man's use ; for man neither needs 
them, nor can domesticate them. These therefore seem to be cre- 
ated, to shew the infinity, nearly, of the exhibitions of divine power 
and goodness ; and when is that source of delight and admiration 
to be withdrawn ? Should these seem to be trifling lucubrations, 
does not the known benevolence of the author himself fairly call them 
forth ? For I rather think he was of a disposition towards animals 
not to object to these notions, or what has preceded, or what follows, 
on their account. As to there being, therefore, no adequate motive 
for this restoration, because the animals were generally made for man, 
and man will not need them in a future state ; it does not follow that 
they were not created to enjoy existence for themselves ; of which 
enjoyment they are more abridged by man than they ought to be. 
Neither does it appear clear that their being (at least by man) deno- 
minated " brutes," is any argument against such restoration ; for, if 
the term " brute," whether used as a quality or a species, be consi- 
dered, it will be found more applicable to multitudes of die human 
kind, than to other animals. Besides, does not the term " brute," 
in its radical derivation, most properly signify what is void, not of 
reason alone, but of animation too : viz. brute, or insensible, matter, 
or earth, only ? If it should be objected too, that they are endued 
with instinct merely, and not with reason; let those qualities be 
accurately enquired into ; and let it be seen if man be not as much a 
creature of instinct, as the inferior animals ; and they, as much the 
subject of reason, as man ; the difference, in regard of reason, being 



270 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

chiefly, if not wholly, in the degree. Nor does their not knowing 
God, or their freedom from moral accountability, seem to militate 
against their restoration. Neither is it to be overlooked, that if the 
works of creation are now, and possibly will be through all eternity, 
one source of praise to God ; why may not the existence of animals 
constitute a part of it ? For even now, not a few of mankind take 
pleasure in seeing them happy, as well as in noticing their faculties, 
their forms, and habits ; no small source, it may be, of admiration, 
of the universal and benignant creator. Besides, without enlarging 
upon their rationality, can it be disputed that they possess, not only 
the powers we term mental, such as attention, consideration, recol- 
lection, determination; so as, apparently, to deduce proposition 
from proposition beyond the office of mere instinct ; but, apparently, 
moral qualities also, which they need not for their usefulness to man ; 
for would they not be equally useful without those dispositions? 
gratitude and affection for instance : " The ox knoweth his owner, 
and the ass his master's crib : Israel doth not know ; my people doth 
not consider :" where is the divine antithesis, if regard and consi- 
deration, be not here ascribed to those animals ; unless man himself 
be not a regardful or considerative animal ? And are those qualities 
instinctive merely ? If they be, why do they so often fail in man ? 
And what is consideration, if it be not an act of reasoning ? And 
can there be reasoning, without reason ? The difference then seems 
to be in the degree, the extent, the objects. But do not these tilings 
tend to raise the animal creation (so called in distinction to the 
human) somewhat above brutality as well as man ? And if the ani- 
mals exhibit a variety of moral character, does not man equally so ? 
And are not animals as sensible of difference in the treatment of them, 
as man himself, and equally affected, in their characters, by such 
difference ? 



WITH NOTES. 271 



CAIN. 

Alas ! the hopeless wretches ! 
They too must share my sire's fate, like his sons ; 
Like them, too, without the so dear-bought knowledge ! 
It was a lying tree for we know nothing. 
At least it promised knowledge at the price 
Of death but knowledge still : but what knows man I 

LUCIFER. 

It may be death leads to the highest knowledge ; 
And being of all things, the sole thing certain, 
At least leads to the surest science : therefore 
The tree was true, though deadly. 

Note 49. 

I by no means wish to be too severe on Cain : but can we 
credit him for sincerity in this curious lamentation over the animals ? 
We shall see. Can a proneness to misrepresentation, and sarcastic 
untruth, consist with sincerity ? He affects to commiserate them for 
suffering his sire's fate, like his son's, without having shared the apple. 
Is not this, merely sneer, or irony ? Did not Cain know that the ani- 
mals did not, could not, share the apple, as he calls it ? What then 
had they to do with it ? But we shall see further. He then laments, 
that they were equally miserable in not partaking of " the so dear- 
bought knowledge." But did he not know, that the animals had 
nothing to do with what he calls dear-bought knowledge ? Then as 
to this same dear-bought knowledge ; if he mean the knowledge of 
good and evil, which is all the knowledge it applies to, it was not 
bought at all : it was stolen, or sacrilegiously seized. Buying, im- 
plies a compact, of bartering and exchanging, for money, or other 



272 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

equivalent. But what compact was here ? Was the transaction a 
matter of compact, or barter, or selling, between the Almighty and 
Adam ? Did God say to Adam, " I will sell you that fruit which 
shall yield you knowledge, at the price of dying for it"? Or did he 
say, " eat not of it, lest thou die" ? Was that prohibition a com- 
pact of sale ? How unfair and uncandid then, in Cain, so to mis- 
represent the matter. He must have known better. Whom then 
does he seek to mislead, or to asperse, by such arts ? Therefore, 
neither was the tree a " lying tree." It did not promise knowledge, 
or any other thing. It was not endued with the animal or intellectual 
power so to do. If Cain mean that there was a lie at all in the case, 
it is his maker he thus, covertly, charges with it ! horrible impiety ! 
but still in character. So then, neither the Almighty, nor the tree, 
" promised knowledge." There was no promise at all ; but threat- 
ening there was ; which Cain, thus disingenuously and wickedly, 
terms a promise. Knowledge was not promised, but death was 
threatened. The tree was not even called the tree of " knowledge," 
but, " of the knowledge of good and evil," emphatically ; and they 
were bidden to avoid that knowledge, as not being good, but evil. 
Yet they chose, and seized it, in defiance of their maker. What 
then becomes of Cain's slanderous insinuations against his creator ? 
Lucifer, in his reply, does not much mend the matter ; for though 
he compliments the tree as true, yet he calls it " deadly." But it 
was not so. Was it the Upas, diffusing its letiferous vapours all 
around it ? It would have been for ever innoxious, if not sacrile- 
giously violated ; and sufficient notice was given of the consequence 
of such violation. God therefore planted no deadly tree, candidly 
speaking, Lucifer however very justly intimates, that death may 
lead to the highest knowledge. For so, according to revelation, it 
certainly does, the highest and the best, or else the most tremendous. 
At least this is true in respect of the degree of such knowledge, since 
such knowledge is inceptively acquired in this life. In the next, we 
shall know more, either of happiness or misery, than we do here. 
But as to any impertinent kind of " highest knowledge," that idea is 



WITH NOTES. 273 

merely Luciferian. He does not say what he means by " highest 
knowledge." We have therefore to guess as usual, and can only 
give it the signification we have done, viz. the highest degree of the 
knowledge of good and evil ; of good, at any rate to those who shall 
be saved; and of evil, to those who shall be lost. With respect to 
death being the sole thing certain ; that is perhaps true, as far as 
regards the state of man in this life ; but from the revelation before 
considered, we learn, that judgment is as certain as death : " after 
death the judgment." It is mere deception to talk of death lead- 
ing to the surest science. What science ? He has not said. Is 
death itself a science ? Is not this mere jargon ; and the unconsciously 
adopted language of those philosophers (or geniuses) of modern times 
before adverted to, who, in their attachment to their beloved uncer- 
tainty, do nevertheless, I believe, after their unacknowledged master, 
admit, that death, but death alone, is certain ? A concession per- 
haps to be wondered at. Yet the sole certainty of death, and this 
pretended surest science, have no necessary or proper connexion at 
all. Are not these, words merely, without rational meaning ? Yet 
quite proper for the " Master of Spirits," who may truly be termed 
also, Master of Arts. He is artful, though not wise. And the 
apostle Paul would have us not be " ignorant of his devices." 



CAIN. 

These dim realms ! 
I see them, but I know them not. 

LUCIFER. 

Because 

Thy hour is yet afar, and matter cannot 
Comprehend spirit wholly but 'tis something 
To know there are such realms. 



274 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



That there was death. 



CAIN. 

We knew already 

LUCIFER. 

But not what was beyond it. 

CAIN. 
Nor know I now. 

LUCIFER. 

Thou knowest that there is 
A state, and many states heyond thine own 
And this thou knewest not this morn. 

CAIN. 

But all 
Seems dim and shadowy. 

LUCIFER. 

Be content ; it will 
Seem clearer to thine immortality. 

Note 50. 

I confess, that so much conversancy with Lucifer, in this part 
of their dialogues, where he seems to act the part of an obliging 
guide and interpreter, has almost the effect of, in some measure, 
making one forget his real character as man's destroyer. But we 
must be on our guard against those amicable feelings. For as long 



WITH NOTES. 275 

as we have any desire to keep out of his power, and clear of his 
dominions, so long he, assuredly, is most hostile to man, and seeks 
his ruin. With this recollection then we proceed. Cain acknow- 
ledges his ignorance, still, of these dim realms he had been behold- 
ing. And Lucifer attributes it to Cain's being yet so far from his 
" hour," (of death,) and to the incapacity of matter wholly to com- 
prehend spirit : meaning, I suppose, that these phantoms were spi- 
ritual beings. But it must not be forgotten that real spirits are very 
different from these phantoms, and cannot be seen in their proper 
state, by mortal eye, at all. To be seen, they must be embodied, 
as the scriptures tell us they have, in divine kindness to man, some- 
times been, perhaps by a power they have of that nature, or of assum- 
ing the semblance of body when commissioned by the Almighty, in 
the case of good spirits ; or permitted by him, as in the case of evil 
spirits : as Lucifer assumed or inhabited the serpent, or, as he per- 
sonated Samuel at the instance of the witch of Endor. He says, 
truly, that man, while in the body, cannot comprehend spirit wholly, 
and that it will appear clearer to him in his future state. Now I do 
not think that Lucifer meant this in the way that those do who receive 
the Christian revelation in its whole extent. For Lucifer, I appre- 
hend, meant to tell Cain that he, in that phantasm state, should 
comprehend spirit more clearly. But that state we have seen to be 
a mere figment : whereas the state in which Christians expect to be 
after death, will be that of their spirits (or souls) and bodies, reunited, 
after the general judgment, when, not only their bodies will be re- 
lieved from their present cumbrous and evil qualities, and be made 
etherial, or approximating, in excellence, to it, or rather, most glo- 
rious ; " like unto his (Christ's) glorious body :" but their spirits 
also, there can be no doubt, will receive new powers, and an incon- 
ceivable accession of light and knowledge, to which their present state 
can be less compared, than that of the weakest or meanest, to the high- 
est and most matured, human intellect, on Earth. Consequently, 
there is every scriptural reason for concluding, that the human spirit 
then will be greatly more capable of comprehending spirit, in its 
T 2 



276 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

most extended and exalted sense, than now. To return. When 
Lucifer tells his inveigled friend and client that " 't is something to 
know there are such realms" as he had been shewing him, we must 
remember their shadowy, and fictitious, character. The only sub- 
stantial realms beyond death are those developed by revelation. 
Cain very sensibly observes to his preceptor, that after all his exhi- 
bitions, he did not know what was beyond death ; nor does his pre- 
ceptor appear to remove that impression. The Gospel has brought 
that to light ; but Cain, certainly had it not fully, nor even partially, 
it should seem, as his father and family had, for he did not seem to 
admit it into his mind, as they did. 



CAIN. 

Arid yon immeasurable liquid space 

Of glorious azure which floats on beyond us, 

Which looks like water, and which I should deem 

The river which flows out of Paradise 

Past my own dwelling, but that it is bankless 

And boundless, and of an etherial hue 

What is it 1 

LUCIFER. 

There is still some such on Earth, 
Although inferior, and thy children shall 
Dwell near it 'tis the phantasm of an ocean. 

CAIN. 

'T is like another world; a liquid sun 
And those inordinate creatures sporting o'er 
Its shining surface? 



The past leviathans. 



WITH NOTES. 277 

LUCIFER. 

Are its habitants, 
CAIN. 



And yon immense 

Serpent, which rears his dripping mane, and vasty 
Head ten times higher than the haughtiest cedar 
Forth from the abyss, looking as he could coil 
Himself around the orbs we lately look'd on 
Is he not of the kind which bask'd beneath 
The tree in Eden ? 

LUCIFER. 

Eve, thy mother, best 
Can tell what shape of serpent tempted her. 

CAIN. 

This seems too terrible. No doubt the other 
Had more of beauty. 

LUCIFER. 

Hast thou ne'er beheld him? 

CAIN. 

Many of the same kind, (at least so call'd,) 
But never that precisely which persuaded 
The fatal fruit, nor even of the same aspect. 



278 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

Your father saw him not? 

CAIN. 

No: 't was my mother 
Who tempted him she tempted by the serpent. 



LUCIFER. 



Good man! whene'er thy wife, or thy sous' wives 
Tempt thee or them to aught that 's new or strange, 
Be sure thou see'st first who hath tempted them. 

CAIN. 

Thy precept comes too late : there is no more 
For serpents to tempt woman to. 

LUCIFER. 

But there 

Are some things still which woman may tempt man to, 
And man tempt woman: let thy sons look to it! 
My counsel is a kind one; for 't is even 
Given chiefly at my own expence : 't is true, 
'T will not be followed, so there's little lost. 

CAIN. 
I understand not this. 



WITH NOTES. 279 



LUCIFER. 



The happier thou ! 

Thy world and thou are still too young! Thou thinkest 
Thyself most wicked and unhappy: is it 
Not so? 

CAIN. 

For crime, I know not ; but for pain, 
I have felt much. 

Note 51. 

Passing over the foregoing ingenious description of a pre-adam- 
ite ocean, and its inordinate inhabitants ; and also that of the ser- 
pent ; which perhaps seems entitled to somewhat more of credit if 
we may believe in the Norway Kraken, or the American accounts of 
their sea serpents ; and passing over also their ironical conversation 
relative to the identity of this pre-adamite serpent with, or its resem- 
blance to, that which tempted Eve; and disregarding too, what 
Lucifer asks, and Cain replies, respecting Adam's not having seen 
the serpent, but Eve only ; and that it was she who tempted Adam, 
being herself tempted by the serpent; which accords with scripture, 
both the Old and New Testament ; passing these matters over, as 
of little or no interest, we then come to the morality which Lord 
Byron has caused Lucifer to draw out of the temptation of Eve, and 
of her influence over Adam ; for morality we cannot but call it. 
Now this piece of morals, thus preached by Lucifer himself, is not 
perhaps so light, or insignificant, as the apparent levity of its style 
may convey the idea of. In fact, Lucifer says truly, (and Lord 
Byron merits thanks for it,) that it is chiefly at his own expence ; viz. 
the advice he gives. And most assuredly it is man's own fault, if it 
be not so : and, if man will prefer the consequences of wilful disre- 



280 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

gard of that revelation, with which Lucifer, in this point, agrees ; 
he certainly can blame himself only for those consequences, severe as 
they often are immediately, but, in numberless cases, dreadfully 
more so, as there is every ground to believe, in a future condition 
of existence. Cain's acknowledged ignorance of some of the future 
effects of man's depravity, through the fall, is in some sort benevo- 
lently met, even by Lucifer ; at least we would say benevolently, 
did we not know him too well otherwise, and that he was only watch- 
ing to make that prey of Cain which ultimately we shall find he did. 
He then reminding Cain that he thinks himself wicked, and unhappy, 
and asking him if it is not so, Cain confesses the latter, but appears 
to decline the imputation of the former, and seems not to know that 
he was guilty of any crime. There is a saying, "judge not, that 
ye be not judged;" and another, "judge righteous judgment:" 
now taking both these together, it does seem to me, that, still in 
union, they permit a candid and just consideration of the character 
and conduct of others, as well as of our own. Indeed without it, 
how could moral society exist ? How could moral good be recom- 
mended, or moral evil discountenanced ? With these cautions, then, 
does it follow, that, because Cain did not acknowledge his consci- 
ousness of crime, he is to be therefore acquitted of it ? Is there not 
such a thing as crime against God, as well as against man ? What are 
they who deny it ? Without then entering into any other argument, or 
looking for any other evidence, I must ask if we have not, in the 
course of these pages, seen abundant proof that, putting his conduct 
in regard to his parents out of the question, Cain was truly, and 
highly, criminal, as against his creator ? Yet he did not seem to be 
conscious of it. But there is another saying ; " having their con- 
science seared with a hot iron." Can Cain be acquitted of pride, 
discontent, rebellion, against his maker ? I mean, as exhibited 
here : if Lord Byron has made him worse than scripture has done, 
all the better. He has the advantage of that. But we are now try- 
ing, not the Cain of Moses, but the Cain of Lord Byron. Well 
then, is not pride morally evil, or criminal, in reference to God ? 



WITH NOTES. 281 

Did not God, in Cain's days, require humility towards himself, as 
much as he has done since ? Is humility towards God improper for, 
or unworthy of, man? Did not Cain declare he "would have 
nought to do with happiness that humbled him and his" ? Had not 
that a direct reference to his maker, and his proceedings with his 
creature man, Adam and his family ? To seek no further proof, 
however easily found, is not Cain thus convicted of pride in reference 
to his maker ? Is discontent against God no crime against him ? 
Its unreasonableness need not be here again considered. And is 
Cain's discontent with, and arrogant and insidious invectives against, 
the divine proceedings, no crime against his maker ? And are not 
his discontent and invectives too notorious to need proof? Need it 
be asked, if rebellion against the Almighty be a crime against him ? 
And is not the associating ourselves with avowed rebels, and entering 
into all their views and sentiments, direct rebellion ? Then what 
else is Cain's league with Lucifer ; and in defiance of whom ? 
Thus much for Cain's fancied freedom from crime. I say nothing 
of the grossest ingratitude. Is that a crime, or a sin, or a baseness ; 
or what place does it occupy in the nomenclature, or classification, 
of moral character ? As to the pain, of which he says he had felt 
much ; no words or time need be spent, in reiterating the self-evidenc- 
ing fact, that Cain was the voluntary fabricator of his own misery. 
If ever heautontimorumenos was applicable to any being, it is to this 
Cain. This assumption however, of pain, by him, draws forth a 
sort of consolatory speech from his sympathizing friend ; who knew 
something of the same kind of pain himself, and was very desirous 
of helping Cain forward in the increase of his. 



LUCIFER. 

First-born of the first man ! 
Thy present state of sin and thou art evil, 
Of sorrow and thou suffcrest, arc both Eden 



282 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

In all its innocence compared to what 
Thou shortly raay'st be; and that state again, 
In its redoubled wretchedness, a Paradise 
To what thy sons' sons' sons, accumulating 
In generations like to dust, (which they 
In fact but add to,) shall endure and do. 
Now let us back to Earth ! 

CAIN. 

And wherefore didst thou 
Lead me here only to inform me this ? 

LUCIFER. 
Was not thy quest for knowledge? 



The road to happiness. 



Thou hast it. 



CAIN. 

Yes: as being 

LUCIFER. 

If truth be so, 
CAIN. 



Then my father's God did well 
When he prohibited the fatal tree. 



LUCIFEK. 



But had done better in not planting it. 
But ignorance of evil doth not save 



WITH NOTES. 



From evil ; it must still roll on the same, 
A part of all things. 



CAIN. 

Not of all things. No : 
I '11 not believe it for I thirst for good. 

LUCIFER. 

And who and what doth not! Who covets evil 
For its own bitter sake? None nothing! 'tis 
The leaven of all life, and lifelessness. 

Note 52. 

Shall we say, that in his speech now before us, Lucifer has 
placed himself in the pulpit of modern times, and become a preacher ; 
or invested himself with the robes of the academy, or the porch ? 
" First-born of the first man ! " Who can deny solemnity here to 
Lucifer, specious, if not real ? His ascription of sin, and of evil, to 
Cain, must also be acknowledged to be true. The wonder is, how 
Lucifer, of all beings, should utter such a truth. Yet that wonder 
may cease when we recollect his oracles afterwards. We will how- 
ever give him, even him, his due ; for justice should ever be done to 
all, without exception of character. Whether Lucifer would pro- 
nounce a truth, which he thought likely to keep man out of his own 
power and dominion, is another matter. But he certainly has done 
so, recently, to some extent, (if obeyed,) either intentionally or un- 
warily. Lord Byron, in his preface, as is before remarked, confesses 
he finds it difficult to make Lucifer talk like a clergyman. Here, 
however, it is conceived, he has again overcome that difficulty. For 
what can be more appropriate to that important and responsible cha- 



284 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

racter, than to tell their congregations of their state of sin and their 
evil nature ? If not deeply apprized of that, how shall they ever es- 
cape their dreadful consequences ? And what can be more calculated 
for benefit, than this faithful announcement to all who have not, by 
receiving the revelation spoken of, in the way it requires, been eman- 
cipated from the thraldom of that state of sin, and delivered from 
the consequences of that evil nature ? But excellent as is Lucifer's 
commencement of this confabulation, there seems an alloy, in the 
progress of it, calculated only to work mischief in such a mind as 
Cain's. But we will follow him, and see. He next speaks of 
Cain's sorrow, and suffering ; but we have so particularly considered 
the cause of that sorrow and suffering, such as it was, and of Cain 
being the procurer of it to himself, that more needs not be said. 
This suffering and sin, he says, are both Eden, compared to what he 
shortly may be ; which seems to glance at, if it would not prepare 
him against, the catastrophe which will, ere long, be to be painfully 
considered ; and in the procuring of which, as we shall see, Lucifer 
himself had no small share. This the friendship of Lucifer ever 
leads to, and ends in. He completes his consolatory address to Cain 
by declaring, oracularly, the redoubled wretchedness of Cain's pos- 
terity, both in what they should endure, and what commit ; and com- 
pliments his posterity with being only dust added to dust. This ex- 
plains Lucifer's meaning of the immortality he so much magnifies 
as the property of man, and as shewn in his phantoms ; an immor- 
tality, neither productive of happiness as a spiritual being, nor of ac- 
countability as a moral agent : than which doctrine nothing can be 
more false, more degrading, or more destructive. Yet after all his 
friend Lucifer's information and civility, Cain seems to think he had 
been led a long journey only to hear the homily of misery he had just 
been preaching : and on Lucifer's asking him if his quest was not 
for knowledge, he replies, sensibly enough, " yes, but as the road 
to happiness." Happiness, therefore, even Cain desired. But he 
had not learned, that it is not every kind of knowledge which leads 
to happiness. The result of his expedition might have informed him 



WITH NOTES. 285 

of that ; since, after Lucifer had imparted to him all the know- 
ledged he could, or would, (though he had promised him all know- 
ledge on the condition of Cain's felling down and worshipping him 
as his lord,) yet Cain was still miserable. Why did he not then con- 
clude that his guide, and counsellor, was as great a deceiver of himself 
as he had been of his mother ? and why not then, at any rate, betake 
himself to that other road to the happiness he sought, which his fa- 
ther, mother, brother, and sisters had done with success, by acqui- 
escing in their creator's dispensations towards them, and gratefully ac- 
cepting his parental and providential kindness ? But not so Cain. 
He rather attends to hear what his worse instructor will say next. 
And what is that ? Forsooth, that if truth be the road to happiness 
Cain has it ! But we must notice his artifice again, and his logic. 
He had before said, that the tree was productive of knowledge, be- 
cause grief is knowledge : and that it was true, because it was pro- 
ductive of death, which he calls the " surest science." He now says 
that if truth be happiness, Cain has the truth the tree imparted 
and therefore has happiness. This may be Luciferian logic, or me- 
taphysics, but it did not convince Cain that he was happy. His 
feelings contradicted Lucifer's argumentation. So far from acknow- 
ledging the truth of what his friend said, or at least die correctness 
of the inference Lucifer would affect to draw from it, that he declares 
his father's God did well in prohibiting the acquisition of that truth 
and knowledge, which he now found to be not productive of happi- 
ness at all, but of misery. This proves, as Cain seems also now to 
see, that truth and happiness are not synonymous, or necessarily 
connected. Like knowledge, as before observed, it depends on the 
nature of the truth, whether it produce happiness or not, though it 
may produce knowledge. Besides, abstract truth merely, or ideal 
truth, however excellent, cannot procure happiness, unless embodied, 
and connected with interesting and important facts. It is a truth, 
that there is a God, and a Lucifer, and a Heaven, and a Hell, and hap- 
piness, and misery. But though we know all that to be truth ab- 
stractedly, such knowledge will not produce happiness, if not con- 



286 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

nected with our interest and concern in acquiring Heaven, and happi- 
ness, and the favour of our maker ; and escaping Hell and misery, and 
the tyranny and dominion of Lucifer. Unapplied, abstract truth 
therefore, has no more effect in this important respect, than a wintry, 
transient, sunbeam, has upon the vegetation of the frost-bound earth. 
Besides, are there not truths, as Cain confesses, the knowledge of 
which is misery ? Lucifer, (rather remarkably) does not deny Cain's 
approbation of the interdict laid upon the tree; but adds, that 
the Almighty would have done better in not planting it. That as- 
sertion, however, cannot be granted, until Lucifer be shewn to be 
possessed of wisdom and goodness, superior to that of the creator. 
Nor does the planting of the tree diminish Adam's voluntary offence, 
nor Lucifer's voluntary malignity, nor the voluntary crimes of man- 
kind from that day to this. He apparently asserts besides, that if 
Adam had abstained from the forbidden fruit, and so remained hap- 
pily ignorant of the evil he incurred by taking it ; still, that abstinence 
and ignorance would not have saved him from the evil in question. 
But who can concur in that self-contradicting assertion ? For such 
I take to be his meaning by saying, that " ignorance of evil doth not 
save from evil," but that " it must still roll on the same, a part of all 
things." What other application, than that absurd one, can be in- 
tended to be made of his wise apophthegm ? which nevertheless we 
will try a little farther. Ignorance of some physical evils certainly 
may not save from them : my ignorance of an intended plot against 
me would not, as ignorance, necessarily save me from that plot : on 
the contrary, that ignorance might hinder its prevention and it would 
still " roll on" upon me. Or if God had determined to punish a na- 
tion for its sins; the nation's ignorance or unbelief of that awful fact, 
would not save from it ; (though repentance might ;) it would " still 
roll on the same." Instance Nineveh and Jerusalem. But were I 
traitorously inclined, but ignorant of a plot against the state, and on 
account of that ignorance did not join in it, and the conspirators 
were caught and executed ; can any one in common sense say my 
ignorance did not save me, though I escaped, by it, the punishment 



WITH NOTES. 287 

I otherwise should have met with ? Would that punishment still 
have rolled on upon me? I therefore, myself, cannot, I own, see 
the truth of this apophthegm of this " Master of Spirits." Or is my 
own ignorance the cause of my blindness ? As to evil being part of 
all things also, that I venture to deny : admitting, in common lan- 
guage, evil to be at all ; yet not to the extent of being a part of all 
things. Assuredly, there are many things exempt from it : many of 
the good gifts of God. They need not be particularized. Is not 
even Christianity a part of all things ; and what evil is in that ? Nor 
is evil to be admitted to roll on in despite, always, even of reason, 
forecast, and good sense ; but never, certainly, in despite of God's 
protective and defensive providence. Besides ; although ignorance, 
generally speaking, is not to be advocated, but good and right 
knowledge rather; still, we must affirm that in numberless in- 
stances of human life (common experience proves it) ignorance of 
evil is a preservative against evil: when that ignorance ceases, then 
the evil occurs. Instances need not be mentioned. As to evil being 
" a part of all things," somewhat has been said, and somewhat more 
will perhaps be said in a future Note. Even Cain opposes Lucifer on 
this topic ; for, he says, he thirsts for good, as a proof that there must 
be good unmixed with evil : otherwise he should not find that innate 
craving for it, which he did. What the good was which he thirsted 
for, he does not say. One would rather suppose, it was knowledge, 
from his general turn of mind and many of his speeches. But what 
knowledge was Cain in quest of as the road to happiness ? W T e have, 
I conceive, seen, that knowledge may be evil, as well as good, and 
productive of misery, as well as happiness. The word and know- 
ledge of God are the only true knowledge, as being, at least, con- 
ducive to real happiness. But this Cain rejected in favour of Luci- 
ferian chimeras. Lucifer agrees with Cain in his thirst for good, 
which he declares is common to all creatures, as well as their not co- 
veting evil for its own bitter sake. Theoretically, this seems true ; 
but, practically, do we not see the most part of intelligent, moral, 
accountable beings, act as if evil was their object ? For in pursuing 



288 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

good, as they intend, they take the very road to evil, in spite of every 
warning their creator, in his word, has given them. I now speak of 
such as have heard of the revelation before mentioned. The truth is, 
that this same " Master of Spirits" has so blinded the eyes, and dark- 
ened the minds, and perverted the inclinations, of those who, like 
Cain, prefer him in effect, (though they deny his existence it may be,) 
before their maker, that they take good for evil, and evil for good ; 
darkness for light, and light for darkness ; bitter for sweet, and sweet 
for bitter ; whereas, a due regard to the revelation before noticed, 
would rectify all their errors, discover all the Luciferian deceptions 
they labour under, and point out clearly the road to supreme and 
true good, and solid because rational happiness. That revelation 
speaks of, and describes, these very things ; and assures us that it 
will ultimately be brought in evidence against all who have knowingly 
despised or neglected it. Plato, Cicero, and others of those times, 
who knew not the scriptures, will be found to have (must I say in- 
stinctively, or from the right use of their reasoning powers ?) come 
very much nearer to them than multitudes who have heard of, and 
rejected them in whole, or in part. But their minds " bore sway." 
They sincerely sought truth. Cain resumes : 

CAIN. 

Within those glorious orbs which we hehold, 
Distant and dazzling, and innumerable, 
Ere we came down into this phantom realm, 
111 cannot come : they are too beautiful. 

LUCIFER. 
Thou hast seen them from afar. 

CAIN. 

And what of that ! 



WITH NOTES. 289 



Distance can but diminish glory they 
When nearer must be more ineffable. 



LUCIFER. 



Approach the things of Earth most beautiful, 
And judge their beauty near. 



I have done this 
The loveliest thing I know is loveliest nearest. 

LUCIFER. 

Then there must be delusion. What is that. 
Which being nearest to thine eyes is still 
More beautiful than beauteous things remote 1 

CAIN. 

My sister Adah. All the stars of heaven, 
The deep blue noon of night, lit by an orb 
Which looks a spirit, or a spirit's world 
The hues of twilight the sun's gorgeous coming 
His setting indescribable, which fills 
My eyes with pleasant tears as I behold 
Him sink, and feel my heart float softly with him 
Along that western paradise of clouds 
The forest shade the green bough the bird's voice 
The vesper bird's, which seems to sing of love, 
And mingles with the song of cherubim, 
As the day closes over Eden's walls ; 

u 



290 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

All these are nothing, to my eyes and heart, 
Like Adah's face: I turn from Earth and Heaven 
To gaze on it. 

LUCIFER. 

'T is frail as fair mortality, 
In the first dawn and bloom of young creation 
And earliest embraces of Earth's parents, 
Can make its offspring; still it is delusion. 

CAIN. 
You think so, being not her brother. 

LUCIFER. 

Mortal ! 
My brotherhood 's with those who have no children. 

CAIN. 

Then thou canst have no fellowship with us. 

LUCIFER. 

It may be that thine own shall be for me. 
But if thou dost possess a beautiful 
Being beyond all beauty in thine eyes, 
Why art thou wretched 1 ? 

CAIN. 

Why do I exist 1 ? 

Why art thou wretched 1 ? why are all things so? 
Ev'n he who made us must be, as the maker 



WITH NOTES. 291 

Of things unhappy ! To produce destruction 

Can surely never be the task of joy, 

And yet my sire says he 's omnipotent : 

Then why is evil he being good 1 ? I ask'd 

This question of my father ; and he said, 

Because this evil only was the path 

To good. Strange good, that must arise from out 

Its deadly opposite. I lately saw 

A lamb stung by a reptile ; the poor suckling 

Lay foaming on the earth, beneath the vain 

And piteous bleating of its restless dam ; 

My father pluck'd some herbs, and laid them to 

The wound ; and by degrees the helpless wretch 

Resumed its careless life, and rose to drain 

The mother's milk, who o'er it tremulous 

Stood licking its reviving limbs with joy. 

Behold, my son ! said Adam, how from evil 

Springs good ! 

LUCIFER. 
What didst thou answer I 

CAIN. 

Nothing; for 

He is my father: but I thought, that 't were 
A better portion for the animal 
Never to have been stung at all, than to 
Purchase renewal of its little life 
With agonies unutterable, though 
Dispell'd by antidotes. 

u 2 



292 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Note 53. 

Cain seems filled with almost extatic delight at the glories and 
beauties he had been beholding in the upper regions of space. How 
was it that, absorbed in admiration and love of the creation, he not 
only did not admire and love, but abhorred, their creator ? Not so 
Plato ; not so Cicero. How different were their minds and affec- 
tions towards the great author of what they saw and admired, and 
how totally void of that disposition to complain of ill and evil. Ill 
and evil they certainly perceived, (moral ill,) and studied and laboured 
to eradicate it, with all the intellectual means they had, unassisted 
by revelation. Still we cannot but partake with Cain, in his sensa- 
tions produced by the view of the glorious, and dazzling, and innu- 
merable, orbs, in whose immense and unknown abyssal ocean he had 
been sailing, under no inconsiderable convoy. He therefore deemed 
these stupendous and interesting objects " too beautiful for ill to come 
within them." But Lucifer undertakes to convince him of the con- 
trary, by a species of rather curious argument, yet fit for him to use, 
as it leads, ultimately, to the never-failing subject of ill and eviL If 
there be such a thing as subtlety, which also, among other things, 
perhaps, modern philosophers or geniuses may think uncertain, it 
is surely to be found in him ; yet not apart from evil, (as in the ser- 
pent it originally was,) but combined with it. Cain's idea, in oppo- 
sition to Lucifer's suggestion, that distance can but diminish glory ; 
and that, if seen nearer, that glory must be more ineffable; one 
would take to be the fact. Whatever is perfect, (without defect,) 
must, generally speaking, be engaging in proportion to our nearness 
to it, unless it be of " insufferable brightness," like the divine glory 
itself. As to objects not perfect nor free from defect, nearness may 
certainly diminish their attractions. But moral considerations may 
counterbalance this diminution of attractiveness, as we shall see. 
For Lucifer then tries Cain's positions by bidding him prove them 
by reference to some terrestrial object of his regard, in order to detect 



WITH NOTES. 293 

the delusion, which, the former asserts, must lie hid in the subject of 
his admiration. This Cain was not long in complying with, and 
then alleges Adah as the instance, in which nearness did not dimi- 
nish glory, or attractiveness. lie then launches out into most exuber- 
ant and poetic praise of Adah's face ; calling into weak comparison 
all nature the stars, the brilliant midnight glories, the heavens, 
the earth, the gorgeous rising, and the unspeakable setting, of the 
sun, the paradise of evening clouds, the forest shade, the green 
bough, the nightingale's voice; all this, and more, is nothing, 
to his eyes and heart, like Adah's face. Now Adah was a mortal ; 
and what mortal is perfect ? Yet the moral considerations, above 
adverted to, induced Cain to think Adah all perfection. He admir- 
ed, it should seem, her pleasing countenance, animated by, and thus 
an index of, superior loveliness of mind, which seems to have be- 
longed to her. For she was, as represented, of a feeling disposition, 
and not only loved her relatives with affectionate simplicity, but was 
not destitute of a due sense of the claim of her benignant CREATOR 
to her superior and supreme regard : a character which adds to beauty 
a dignity and charm, without which, a " set of features and com- 
plexion" is to be deemed but a painted toy, or in Lucifer's own em- 
phatic language, " deception and delusion." And can one forbear 
respecting, even Lucifer, and Lucifer's pourtrayer also, for that, 
among other good, and sound, moral lessons ? But Lucifer, like a 
true and stanch philosopher, unmoved by his friend's enthusiastic 
strains, once again speaks truth. For though he does not try his dis- 
ciple's patience by denying his ascriptions to the fascination of Adah's 
pleasing face ; yet he assures him still, that Adah's face is, after all, 
" as frail as fair mortality can make it," and therefore, " still, delusion :" 
a truth which holds to the present moment, in all like cases. But 
Cain was less philosophic than his master, as may well be allowed 
him. He therefore contends, that Lucifer's rigid judgment proceeds 
from his unacquaintedness with Adah ; her beautiful or pleasing 
countenance, and amiable temper ; her generosity and nobleness, 
and superior mental and moral endowments ; " and in her tongue, 



294 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

(it may be imagined) was the law of kindness." This remonstrance 
of Cain, produces from the other a declaration, though apparently 
rather unconnected, that his brotherhood was with those who had no 
children. To this announcement Cain replies, seemingly with some 
warmth, that Lucifer then could have no fellowship with mortals. 
I cannot positively say, whether this (rather keen) remark, piqued 
Lucifer, or not. But he certainly throws out in return, something 
like a cutting intimation of the possibility, that Cain's children might 
be for him : an admonition, again, which calls for our acknowledge- 
ment. For does it not point to the most important and interesting 
object of parental regard ; that of using all the means, which reve- 
lation enjoins, for preventing the accomplishment of Lucifer's (must 
I not say) friendly hint ? It is applicable now as much as then ; 
and will be so to the end of time. The unhappiness is, that, as 
Lucifer says, rather exultingly, upon a former occasion, it will do 
him no injury, because it will not be regarded ; therefore, it may be, 
" there 's little lost" to him, by it. So much the worse for man. 

But Lucifer was acting a deep part against Cain. His object 
was to make him irrecoverably his own. If therefore he spoke tartly 
what he wished, from a sudden pique, yet he would not let trifles 
make a breach between them. He ever studies men's leading traits 
of character, and applies himself to improve them to his purposes. 
Discontent with, and aversion to, his creator, seem to have been 
Cain's prominent dispositions. Like the future Archimedes, Luci- 
fer wanted only a place capable of sustaining his infernal fulcrum, to 
enable him to move the universe. That^Zace, in the present instance, 
he saw to be the disposition of Cain just mentioned, chiefly discon- 
tent ; upon which he might fix his engines, and be then able to move 
the whole universe of Cain's nature, his body, soul, and all. On 
that therefore he began to act, by asking him why, possessing what 
was beautiful beyond all beauty in his eyes, he was still wretched ? 
This " woke," as Lucifer has before expressed it, " the demon within 
him," as appears from his answer, which requires some consideration. 

He first, then, asks, why he exists; why is Lucifer himself 



WITH NOTES. 295 

wretched? why are all things so? But as he himself does not 
wait, to answer his own questions, or to receive one from his oracle, 
he must be content with one from another quarter. To the first there- 
fore, why does he exist ? the answer clearly is, plainly, because he 
does so by the will of his creator ; a being infinite, and irresistible 
in power ; and no less infinite, and perfect, in wisdom and in good- 
ness ; and by whom his parents and relatives, and all other things, 
existed also. In answering his enquiry, why Lucifer himself is 
wretched ? [which, Lucifer, by the way, never denies, and which af- 
fords no mean lesson to mankind,] there can be no difficultly either. 
It is because Lucifer is an evil being ; self-corrupted; (for even what 
wicked mortal can deny his own concurrence in his own wicked- 
ness?) rebellious against his righteous and beneficent creator; malig- 
nant towards creatures inferior to himself in strength, because the ob- 
jects of his maker's regard: placing his whole complacency (such 
complacency as Lucifer is capable of) in devising and executing 
mischief, and destruction, and causing misery; because he seeks 
tyrannic power, and is of insufferable pride and arrogancy ; because 
fear, and not love, is the spring which he uses in all his operations. 
Therefore is he wretched. And who will say, not necessarily so, so 
long as cause and effect do not cease ? And as to Cain's most im- 
posing question of all why are all things so ? i. e. wretched ; 
were it not for the seriousness of the subject, one could not but 
smile, at this cool way of arguing assumed by Cain, and by all who, 
like him, are not ingenuous, and argue not for truth, but for victory, 
by puzzling and imposing for a moment, rather than solidly convinc- 
ing. For he solemnly asks, why a thing is, which is not at all : 
thus begging the very question. Such sophisters scarcely merit a 
reply. Yet a reply shall briefly be given Cain. The question im- 
plies, of course, the proposition, that all things are wretched. That 
is so far from being granted, that it is flatly denied, as being self-evi- 
dently untrue, as I trust we have seen, and shall see. Where then 
is there room for argument, the foundation failing? That is the 
present reply. But we shall now see how apt a scholar Cain shews 



296 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

himself of his arch-rebel instructor. Lucifer, on a former occasion, 
had impiously designated the Almighty as " so restless in his wretch- 
edness." Now, says Cain, (who forgot the glorious orbs, and Adah's 
face, and all die beauties of the deep blue sky, and every other object 

of divine power which so lately delighted him ; but I also forget 

he was an unbeliever, an atheist,) to shew his preceptor his profici- 
ency, and how he could improve upon his master "even he who 
made us must be, (that is wretched,) as the maker of things unhappy." 
Now Cain, and Lucifer, and his associate spirits, were those very 
" things unhappy" which Cain alludes to. For neither Cain nor 
Lucifer had ever shewn mat there were any unhappy beings in the 
world besides themselves ; though they affected to make Adah and 
her family acknowledge themselves so. But is it receivable by 
common sense, that the Almighty should be wretched on account of 
the self-created wretchedness of such beings as Cain and Lucifer ? 
Is it so even among men ; and even among the most benevolent of 
men ? Again, however, Cain displays his scholar-like retention of 
his master's lessons on the destructions wrought by the Almighty. 
Therefore, in order to prove the Almighty wretched at any rate, he 
argues, that " to produce destruction can surely never be the task of 
joy." We will meet this redoubtable assertion. His meaning of 
course is, in connexion with the foregoing, that the Almighty must 
be wretched, or cannot be happy, inasmuch as he "produces" 
destruction. But should not Cain have first proved, that destruction 
can never be good, or beneficial, before he asserted that destruction 
could not afford joy, or at least satisfaction ? Because the doing of 
a good and beneficial act, does, according to its nature and degree, 
afford joy and satisfaction as every one knows. Well then, what evil 
destructions, if any at all, had Cain known in his days, perpetrated 
by his creator ? Does he call God's exercise of his moral govern- 
ment, in removing Adam from Paradise, destruction ? If he do, 
we do not agree, until he has shewn moral government to be evil and 
unbeneficial, as well as that the removal itself did, in any way at all, 
resemble destruction. Or did he mean for he and Lucifer, and their 



WITH NOTES. 297 

fraternizing malcontented votaries are remarkably dark and enigma- 
tical in their aspersions ; they cannot speak out, for they have no- 
thing to say in a direct manner; so we must guess at their mean- 
ings; a favour they do us : did he then mean that his so much dreaded 
death was the destruction he charged the Almighty with producing? 
But that had not occurred : he should have waited. Or did he mean 
those destructions " common in eternity," which Lucifer had been 
speaking of? But how did he know that Lucifer spoke truth ? Or 
who, or what, was Cain, to set himself up in judgment and censure 
upon his maker ? Or if we can suppose that, by his preceptor's 
assistance, he took a prospective glance at the future deluge ; then, 
when the whole earth, like Cain and Lucifer, had perverted their 
way, and filled the world with violence, and because totally incom- 
patible with good moral government ; can we, in any reason, suppose 
the Almighty must be wretched or unhappy in removing that evil in 
the only way which seemed right, and best, to infinite wisdom, and 
absolute goodness ? And, even among mortals, is it usual to ques- 
tion the conduct of a man in the ordering of his own property ; 
more especially, when he is of an established and well-known charac- 
ter, for discretion and benevolence ? But we would not insist upon 
the total want of right in Cain to talk thus arrogantly of things 
which belonged not to him. But rather convince him of his error, 
in point of rationality, if possible, as we have tried to do. He how- 
ever goes on a little further still. Therefore, quoth Cain, "and 
yet my sire says he 's omnipotent." But what has that to do with 
the matter ? He may be a wretched destroyer, though omnipotent. 
For we have admitted of our own accord, that omnipotence and 
goodness do not necessarily (as Cain himself argued) go together : 
although, in the instance of the Divine Being, we have seen they 
actually do and must. Cain next proceeds to ask "then why 
is evil, he being good ? " This comes in rather ill time and ill taste 
from Cain, who had not been admitting God's goodness, but saying 
every thing against it. It therefore carries greatly the appearance of 
that way of speaking, called ironical, viz. saying one thing and mean- 



298 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ing another, which Lucifer and Cain much use in aid of their bad 
logic, and worse principles, often. As if he had said, in plain 
English, "how can God be good, since there is evil? " forgetting 
what the evil was ; viz. his own and Lucifer's self-created misery, 
and no other evil ! For other evil Cain had not pointed out. But 
we shall see if he do point out aught else he deems evil, and if he 
do, shall not pass it over. Cain says, he had asked the same ques- 
tion of his father, who replied, " because this evil only was the path 
to good." I would not, too readily, suspect, or accuse, Cain of 
untruth ; though I cannot tell how to avoid having a better opinion 
both of Adam's piety and good sense, than to think he could have 
answered his son's question exactly in the way stated. For by his al- 
leged answer he certainly gives Cain and Lucifer the opportunity to 
make that striking remark, " strange good, that must arise from out its 
deadly opposite." Adam's error in his answer, consists in this ; it 
implies the proposition that there is no good which does not come 
through previous evil, as its necessary path or channel than which, 
nothing can be more opposed to the fact : and, if true, it would re- 
flect upon the power or the goodness of God, or both. But the truth, 
and the fact, are, that the chief part of all the good in creation (and 
it is full of the divine goodness) comes, in its ordinary course, di- 
rectly and originally from divine beneficence, without the interven- 
tion of any evil (as it is termed) at all. That the Almighty some- 
times (as often as he sees fit) educes good out of evil which has oc- 
curred, is true ; but it is quite another thing, and is the distinction 
Adam should have made, if he did not ; and then he would not have 
so answered his son's captious and unfair question. With respect to 
the existence of evil at all in the world, we have seen, and shall see 
afterward. But Adam's answer makes evil the principal, and good 
the accident ; whereas in reality, good is the prevailing feature of 
creation, and evil, (if any, properly speaking, there be,) accidental. 
Cain's tale of the suckling lamb stung by a reptile, requires notice. 

It cannot be denied, that sympathy and tenderness of heart in 
man, towards the animal creation, is not more amiable, than due 



WITH NOTES. 299 

from him as we have seen ; cruelty therefore, in any shape, to ani- 
mals, must be criminal in the sight of heaven. If Cain also accu- 
rately reported to Lucifer his father's observation upon his having cured 
the lamb, viz. " see son, how from evil springs good," by way of con- 
firming his former one " that evil only was the path to good ;" Adam, 
I conceive, was as incorrect as before ; for is there not a difference 
between good springing from evil as its source, and evil being educed 
from, or changed into, good, by a distinct and almighty power, and 
beneficent kind of alchymy ? God himself is the only source of all 
original good, as he is the transmuter of much evil into good also. It 
would therefore have been better that Adam, on curing the lamb, had 
directed his son's attention to the remedies God had mercifully pro- 
vided for the animal's benefit, and the skill he had given man to ap- 
ply them. The remedies providence lias afforded for disease, are one 
thing ; the bringing good out of evil, whether physical or moral, 
quite another. Thus, if a man receive an injury, the goodness of God 
is visible is giving man skill to apply a remedy. But out of that 
evil, if to be so termed, God may educe good also by bringing the 
party into circumstances beneficial to him ; thus educing good out 
of evil. But God's immediate gifts of good are another thing still, 
irrespective of any evil at all ; and they constitute by far the greater 
part of divine operations, as is evident from a just survey of crea- 
tion. But the subject requires discrimination. I will not therefore 
deny, that the Almighty does sometimes, cause evil or rather suffer- 
ing, for special and preparatory purposes, to precede some moral or 
other good he intends to a moral agent. But men mat very evil or 
suffering is part of the good itself, and is by no means involved in 
Cain's wrong meaning, or in Adam's erroneous explanations. As to 
Cain's assertion that it would have been better for the animal never 
to have been stung at all ; although nature may lead us to join him 
in that sentiment, and humanity and feeling for animals are essen- 
tial ; yet Cain's opinion is not to be placed in competition with his 
maker's ; or can it be supposed, that man is more considerate of them 
man God himself? Somewhat of the divine regard for his animal 



300 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

creation has been before noticed. On a superficial view, one may 
be apt to think with Cain. But the stinging must have arisen, either 
by the appointment of the Almighty ; or by his permission ; or with- 
out his knowledge. The last it could not be ; for he knows all things 
without any of the difficulty we may conceive in attending to minute 
as well as great matters. Else he were not infinite. It must there- 
fore (the stinging) have occurred either by his appointment ; or with 
his observant permission; neither of which can, in reason, be al- 
lowed to cause, or sanction, any thing that had better not have taken 
place; unless we think it right to detract from the perfection of either 
the divine wisdom, or goodness. Mans not seeing a thing to be right, 
or best, is no proof that it is not actually so, until he can shew his wis- 
dom and goodness to be greater than his maker's. But notwithstanding 
this, man is not excused from being the accountable, because the vo- 
luntary, and therefore immoral, cause, of much suffering to animals ; 
compared with which, their other sufferings bear but a small proportion. 
What has been here said however, respecting the existence of evil, 
with the knowledge, as well as permission, if not the appointment 
of God, does not at all interfere with the fact of its introduction into 
the world originally by man himself by his transgression ; and that, 
through the " devices" of Lucifer. Nor does it interfere with the 
certainty of man's just responsibility for all the evil he knowingly 
commits ; and of the truth of which assertion, his own conscience, 
without any reasoning, will convict him. God neither forces nor 
entices any man to sin. Man sins voluntarily, as no sinner can 
deny ; or, if he do, he will not be believed by upright men. As to 
the temptations or instigations of Lucifer ; how far they, or any other 
circumstances may plead for man before his judge, it is not for man 
to pronounce positively : God is alone competent. But man may 
warn his fellow men to beware they do not wrap themselves up (with 
or without Lucifer's suggestion) in an imaginary veniality ; when, 
had they duly attended, if not to the word of God, yet to their own 
consciences, they would have been informed that what they deemed 
venial, was not so. In fact, no sin is venial, great or small, if reve- 



WITH NOTES. 301 

lotion is to be credited. Death alone can atone for, or satisfy for, 
sin : viz. either the eternal death of the sinner's soul and body ; (and 
we have seen what that death consists in ;) or, the death of Christ : 
whichever the sinner chooses, supposing he has heard of, and has 
capacity to comprehend the latter. If an offence, which, against a 
fellow subject is simply criminal, yet when committed against the 
King be treason ; do not analogy and reason require us to consent to 
the proposition, that an offence against GOD must be of infinite 
malignity, and require an infinite expiation? The offence, in all 
reason, partakes of the nature or character of the offended party. 
Somewhat more on the subject of evil generally, will occur hereafter. 



LUCIFER. 

But as thou saidst 

Of all beloved things thou lovest her 
Who shared thy mother's milk, and giveth hers 
Unto thy children 

CAIN. 

Most assuredly : 
What should I be without her? 

LUCIFER. 

What am I? 

CAIN. 

Dost thou love nothing ? 

LUCIFER. 

What does thy God love? 



302 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



CAIN. 

All things, my father says ; but I confess 
I see it not in their allotment here. 

LUCIFER. 

And, therefore, thou canst not see if / love 
Or no, except some vast and general purpose, 
To which particular things must melt like snows. 

CAIN. 
Snows! what are they! 

LUCIFER. 

Be happier in not knowing 
What thy remoter offspring must encounter; 
But bask beneath the clime which knows no winter! 

Note 54. 

The beginning of this portion of the conversation induces the 
repetition of a previous observation on the relationship between Cain 
and Adah ; a relationship obtaining in that early period of the world, 
but afterwards forbidden by the Almighty to the Jews, and since 
adopted from them by mankind generally, and acquiesced in by all 
well-regulated societies and individuals as conducive to their best 
welfare. Cain's renewed declaration of his regard for Adah, and his 
asking Lucifer if he loved nothing, leads, finally, to his questioning 
Cain as to what his God loved. Cain's reply, that, though his father 
told him God loved all things, he could not see it in their allotment 
here, is altogether in character with Cain, as is too obvious to need 



WITH NOTES. 303 

proof. He who, alone of all the then existing human race, could see 
nothing but evil in the creation, was not much prepared to think that 
it could be the object of the creator's regard. And if Cain himself 
loved not his maker, how could he conceive of his maker's love ? 
Nothing but love can comprehend love, any more than, as Lucifer 
justly says, " any thing but spirit can comprehend spirit." But if 
Cain be reprehensible, or even pitiable, for his total, but voluntary, 
destitution of love to his creator, what must be the condition of Luci- 
fer, who, when Cain asked him if he loved nothing, dared not reply ? 
He was conscious that he loved not any thing ; and was apparently 
confounded with the sense of his own voluntarily evil nature. For 
although there may have been some remains, however small, of good 
in Cain, which disposed him as a mere man to love Adah, and his 
children, and that probably by divine appointment, in the general 
constitution of the world, besides his being yet in a probationary 
state ; yet not so of Lucifer ; he was not human ; he was not a pro- 
bationer ; he had chosen evil finally ; and in effect said " evil, be 
thou my good ;" and being himself therefore as essentially evil, as 
God is essentially good, and goodness ; he could not love ; it was 
not in his nature, in any respect whatever, as it was in Cain's. Love, 
in its degree, partakes of moral perfection. Where there is love, 
therefore, there is not entire moral imperfection. But total evil is 
total imperfection, total defect of all goodness and excellence, and 
therefore includes a total impossibility of loving. And Lucifer is, 
emphatically, evil. Still, even with regard to man, love to the crea- 
tures, is distinct from love to the creator. The former by no means 
involves the privileges of the latter ; nor can possibly, by itself alone, 
contribute to man's happiness in his future state of being. The latter 
alone, can procure, as it is indispensable to, that happiness; that 
all-important, " final and perfect end," of man. These things, from 
rational and immortal beings, demand serious attention. 

It appears to me, that Cain's having confessed to Lucifer that 
he could not see God's love in the allotments of the creation, leads 
the latter to the remark he makes, that neither could Cain " see whether 



304 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

he loved or not, except some vast and general purpose, to which 
particular things must melt like snows." Now if Lucifer meant by 
this, (for such is his indirect way of aspersing his maker at every 
turn,) to insinuate, that the Almighty, also, has only some vast and 
general purpose which he loves, regardless of the happiness or suf- 
ferings of the creatures who contribute to that general purpose, he 
should be contradicted. All general purposes must be made up of 
particular acts, or intentions. For, are not all generals necessarily 
composed of individuals ? We have seen abundantly, that the ge- 
neral purpose of the divine mind is, and cannot but be, to make 
known his own glory (with which his goodness is inseparably con- 
nected) by the diffusion of happiness. Then, as the objects, or sub- 
jects, of that happiness, are and must be individuals, in order to 
make up the general purpose ; therefore, the vast and general pur- 
pose of God must be, to diffuse happiness to the individual subjects 
of that vast and general purpose. Hence the particular as well as 
general, providence of God, in contradiction to Lucifer's apparent 
exclusion of such particular providence. That some of these indi- 
viduals do not enjoy happiness, is another consideration quite ; and 
may be hereafter, as it has been in some measure already, touched 
upon; but such exceptions do not affect th is argument of God's 
particular providence. Otherwise, we might (if the allusion may be 
allowed) as well talk of a general congress, or a general meeting, with- 
out any individuals to compose it. The particular providence of 
God therefore pervades his whole intelligent and moral, as well as 
his unintelligent, and animal creation. Reason also agrees, as it ever 
does, with revelation, in this matter. To deny a particular provi- 
dence is not only to be an unbeliever in that revelation, but to be 
little if any other than an atheist ; for it would be to consider the 
Divine Being as a mere Epicurean deity ; and how much is Epi- 
cureanism better, or other than, mere atheism ? Does not even all 
nature speak the same thing ? Is not matter inert ? Could it, then, 
continue in motion, without an unintermitting propelling power? 
What can that power be but God ? And is it rational to believe, 



WITH NOTES. 305 

that God regards his moral and intelligent creation less than he does 
his inanimate? Does man himself act so ? And we are authorized, 
both by reason and revelation, to argue from man to God, on points of 
universal and moral rectitude, as before observed. Besides, how 
could the divine moral government be carried on, without particular 
providence ? As well might we expect the government of any na- 
tion to be conducted by laws and proclamations without particular 
personal enforcements, or a whole army to be kept in health by a 
general order, without specific attention to individuals. For it can- 
not be made appear that God has so constituted creation, as that, 
having once set it going (if I may so speak) it shall keep on by a per- 
petual motion without further care, like a set of automatons wound 
up to their pitch. Scripture also denies that doctrine. This asser- 
tion of a particular providence, (without which a universal provi- 
dence amounts to nothing,) is not meant to detract from God's hav- 
ing a perfect foreknowledge of every the most minute circumstance 
connected with his moral and providential government throughout all 
time and space ; nor from his having foreordained every act and 
event that he wills for effectuating his moral and providential pur- 
poses. All things are therefore settled and known by him from the 
beginning to the end; or, in scripture terms "known unto God 
are all his works, from the beginning of the world ;" or, rather, " from 
eternity." It must therefore be, that with God there never was a 
beginning, nor progress, nor termination. One eternal now is alone 
applicable to him, to whom all things, all events, have been present, 
from everlasting, in one uninterrupted view, the unvarying object of 
the contemplation of the infinite mind of deity. Why then should 
man exalt himself, and not rather feel his proper nothingness ? No- 
thing truly, and less, except on those scripture principles before ad- 
verted to, and on which, he certainly becomes important to himself. 
On a former occasion we may remember, Lucifer declared that igno- 
rance could not save from evil. Yet here he recommends Cain to 
remain happily ignorant of the evil of snows. For so Lucifer seems 
to choose to consider them. But man thinks them good. They may 



306 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

be, and are, sometimes, trying and painful, individually; but it 
by no means follows, rationally, that what is trying, and painful, 
is therefore evil : of that we have before spoken, and may again. 



CAIN. 

But dost thou not love something like thyself? 

LUCIFER. 

And dost thou love thyself? 

CAIN. 

Yes, but love more 

What makes my feelings more endurable, 
And is more than myself, because I love it. 

LUCIFER. 

Thou lovest it, because 't is beautiful 
As was the apple in thy mother's eye ; 
And when it ceases to be so, thy love 
Will cease, like any other appetite. 

CAIN. 
Cease to be beautiful ! how can that be ? 

LUCIFER. 
With time. 



WITH NOTES. 307 



CAIN. 

But time has past, and hitherto 
Even Adam and my mother both are fair : 
Not fair like Adah and the seraphim 
But very fair. 



In them and her. 



LUCIFER. 
All that must pass away 

CAIN. 



I 'm sorry for it ; but 
Cannot conceive my love for her the less. 
And when her beauty disappears, methinks 
He who creates all beauty will lose more 
Than me in seeing perish such a work. 

LUCIFER. 
I pity thee in loving what must perish. 

CAIN. 
And I thee who lov'st nothing. 

LUCIFER. 

And thy brother- 
Sits he not near thy heart ? 

CAIN. 

Why should he not? 
x 2 



308 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

LUCIFER. 

Thy father loves him well so does thy God. 

CAIN. 
And so do I. 

LUCIFER. 

'T is well and meekly done. 

CAIN. 
Meekly ! 

LUCIFER. 

He is the second born of flesh, 
And is his mother's favourite. 

CAIN. 

Let him keep 

Her favour, since the serpent was the first 
To win it. 

LUCIFER. 
And his father's ? 

CAIN. 

What is that 
To me ? should I not love that which all love? 



WITH NOTES. 309 



LUCIFER. 

And the Jehovah the indulgent Lord, 
And bounteous planter of barr'd Paradise 
He, too, looks smilingly on Abel. 

CAIN. 

I 

Ne'er saw him, and I know not if he smiles. 

LUCIFER. 
But you have seen his angels. 

CAIN. 

Rarely. 

LUCIFER. 

But 

Sufficiently to see they love your brother : 
His sacrifices are acceptable. 

CAIN. 

So be they ! wherefore speak to me of this! 

LUCIFER. 
Because thou hast thought of this ere now. 



310 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



CAIN. 

And if 

I have thought why recall a thought that (he pauses, 

as agitated) Spirit ! 

Here we are iu thy world ; speak not of mine. 
Thou hast shewn me wonders ; thou hast shewn me those 
Mighty pre-adamites who walk'd the earth 
Of which ours is the wreck ; thou hast pointed out 
Myriads of starry worlds, of which our own 
Is the dim and remote companion, in 
Infinity of life : thou hast shewn me shadows 
Of that existence with the dreaded name 
Which my sire brought us death; thou hast shewn me much 
But not all : shew me where Jehovah dwells, 
In his especial Paradise or thine: 
Where is it ? 

Note 55. 

In the beginning of this portion of the dialogue, Lucifer again 
confesses his inability to love any thing but himself. Not so Cain. 
The former then assumes the philosopher, or moralist, again, and 
glances at the disposition in man to lose his attachment to things, 
which have lost their original attractions. Cain's subsequent expo- 
sition of his own views and feelings on that subject, doubtless are to 
his praise. Yet his idea of the Almighty's losing more than he, in 
seeing perish any human beauty, must be confessed to be wholly 
irrational. It is part of God's appointment and plan that every 
thing human do decay and perish. But if man accept the revelation 
offered him, he is there told, all human beauty shall be abundantly 
more than restored; and shall, beyond the grave, 



WITH NOTES. 311 

" flourish in immortal youth." 

The two friends then proceed to reciprocate their mutual condo- 
lences. The " Master of Spirits" pities Cain in loving what must 
perish; and Cain him, in loving nothing. And who does not know, 
that Cain is infinitely superior to his guide and counsellor, who 
could not but be miserable in loving not at all? for he is, on that very 
account, the opposite to God ; and what is opposite to God, must 
be wretched; and revelation declares that " God is Love." And his 
works declare the same. Lucifer's loving nothing, however, is very 
different from not setting the affections inordinately upon any earthly 
and perishing object, which neither religion nor reason justifies. But 
as Plato and the Bible shew, the affections cannot be inordinately 
set upon .God. The whole heart is required, and may safely and 
most happily be yielded to man's chief and infinite good. 

The author now approaches his preparatory incidents for the 
catastrophe of his performance, and seeks for matter to fill up the out- 
line, or very general account, given in scripture. And this he seems 
to me to do with great judgment and feeling, and perhaps with all 
the probability that can be expected. He reads to man here also 
another instructive lecture. And the use he makes of the adversary 
of God and man, is such as to preclude our admitting a doubt of 
his belief in his existence, and operations. Though we are considering 
a fictitious relation, yet we must deem it, for our present purpose, a 
representation of facts, so as to draw from it all the good it has a 
tendency to promote. On reading therefore the succeeding conver- 
sation between Lucifer and Cain, respecting Abel, Lord Byron has 
contrived, without any violation of, if not perfectly in unison with, 
probable truth, to create, if possible, in our minds, an interest in 
favour of the future fratricide. That interest however will, perhaps, 
afterwards, be alternately excited, and lost again, until at, and pos- 
sibly after, the consummation. In the scene before us however, we 
cannot forbear feeling for the exposure of Cain to Lucifer's diaboli- 
cal and artful suggestions. The counterpoise to that feeling is, the 



312 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

recollection of Cain's general character, and his having voluntarily, 
and determinedly, placed himself under the immediate tuition of 
his tempter and destroyer. One cannot help feeling at the same time 
a kind of sympathy and concern, at beholding the apparent struggles 
of the self-made victim to escape the snare. But Lucifer is now ap- 
proximating to his grand point, and therefore draws his net closer 
and closer, and fixes his envenomed darts deeper and deeper. In 
reading the whole, wherein Lucifer so resolutely aims to excite envy 
and hatred towards his brother in the breast of Cain, one should 
have been induced to believe, that Cain had never, before this un- 
happy juncture, entertained an unkind thought against Abel, were it 
not for Lucifer's telling him, that his inducement for speaking of 
Abel and his sacrifices as he did, was, that Cain had been thinking 
on those matters ere then. In a preceding Note, we have objected 
to Lucifer's claim to know the thoughts of man, though we admitted 
his sagacity in guessing them. Even among men we find some 
shrewd guessers, and some bold asserters of facts beyond their ab- 
solute knowledge, and merely from inferences they have drawn. 
Now, as before observed, there seems every reason to believe, that 
Lucifer is present at different places with amazing quickness. And 
when the world was so thinly peopled, he had less engagement, and 
therefore could pay undivided attention to the Eden family. We 
suppose then, that, in fact, he had been present at their sacrifices : 
that he had observed the circumstances he mentions, of the divine 
acceptance of those of Abel on account of their being animal, accord- 
ing to divine appointment, and of the instances of favour shewn to 
him by the Almighty, and so forth, as here stated by Lucifer. He 
also may be thought to have studied Cain closely, and to have noted 
the effect which the above-mentioned circumstances had upon him, 
although he repressed his feelings : but Lucifer knowing them to be 
harboured in his breast, takes this method of exciting into a flame, 
what seems, for the time at least, to have been smothered or forgot- 
ten. And Lucifer knew from Cain of the sacrifice at hand, in which 
he had promised Adah to join with Abel. It seems then as if Luci- 



WITH NOTES. 313 

fer would prepare him for that eventful occasion. Still, poor Cain, 
if I may be allowed so to term him, would, apparently, fain escape 
if possible ; as should seem by his remonstrating with Lucifer, for 
recalling his, perhaps abandoned, thoughts, and for speaking to 
him of his world while they were in Lucifer's. At any rate it can, 
I think, do us no harm to imagine with Lord Byron, (and not over- 
looking the fascinating and dreadful effects of evil associations not 
easily escaped when once entered into,) that some such Luciferian, 
Satanic influence as that now before us, did seize upon (though too 
much encouraged) and actuate, and keep possession of Cain, from 
this moment especially, to the tragic perpetration. Cain, however, 
at length regains some apparent calm in his disturbed and agitated 
spirit, so as to be able to acknowledge to Lucifer his obligation for 
what he had shewn him ; and ends with requesting Lucifer to shew 
him, if not Jehovah's dwelling, at least his own. Lucifer's character 
is admirably sustained throughout, and in every incident ; so here, 
his sarcastic allusion to " the indulgent Lord, and bounteous plan- 
ter of barr'd Paradise." And Cain was too forward to unite in 
those sarcasms ; forgetting, not only their injustice, when the occa- 
sion was fairly recollected, but also the accumulated punishment he 
and Lucifer were securing to themselves, when, at the appointed 
time, the divine forbearance towards them should have an end. 
We now proceed to Lucifer's answer to Cain's enquiry after Jeho- 
vah's, or his, especial Paradise, or dwelling. It seems not impertinent 
here, just to glance at what revelation tells us was the cause of the 
Almighty's favour to Abel, and his acceptance of his, and rejection 
of Cain's, offerings. It was, that Abel evidently believed in the 
" atonement" mentioned presently by Adah ; and offered his lambs 
prospectively in faith of the future great sacrifice, of which his was 
a type, and the antitype of which was the consummation of the 
promise made to Eve. In this atonement, Cain did not, as the 
rest of his family did, believe. He therefore ran directly counter 
to his creator's mind and will and purposes of mercy ; and what 
can we, as moral agents, conceive, but must be the consequence of 



314 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

such opposition ? He therefore chose to offer the fruits of the 
earth. Of this however, somewhat more hereafter. He says his 
dwelling is 

LUCIFER. 

Here, and o'er all space. 

CAIN. 

But ye 

Have some allotted dwelling, as all things ; 
Clay has its Earth, and other worlds their tenants ; 
All temporary breathing creatures their 
Peculiar element ; and things which have 
Long ceased to breathe our breath, have theirs, thou say'st ; 
And the Jehovah and thyself have thine 
Ye do not dwell together 1 ? 

LUCIFER. 

No, we reign 
Together ; but our dwellings are asunder. 

CAIN. 

Would there were only one of ye ! perchance 
An unity of purpose might make union 
In elements which seem now jarr'd in storms. 
How came ye, being spirits, wise and infinite, 
To separate ? Are ye not as brethren in 

Your essence, and your nature, and your glory? 



LUCIFER. 

Art thou not Abel's brother? 



WITH NOTES. 



CAIN. 

We are brethren, 

And so we shall remain ; but were it not so, 
Is spirit like to flesh I can it fall out ? 
Infinity with immortality 1 
Jarring and turning space to misery 
For what ? 

LUCIFER. 

To reign. 



Ye are both eternal ? 



CAIN. 
Did ye not tell me that 

LUCIFER. 
Yea! 



CAIN. 

And what I have seen, 
You blue immensity, is boundless 1 

LUCIFER. 

Ay. 

CAIN. 

And cannot ye both reign then! is there not 
Enough? why should ye differ 1 



316 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



LUCIFER. 

We both reign. 

CAIN. 

But one of you makes evil. 

LUCIFER. 

Which? 

CAIN. 

Thou! for 
If thou caust do man good, why dost thou not ? 

LUCIFER. 

And why not he who made? / made ye not ; 
Ye are his creatures, and not mine. 

CAIN. 

Then leave us 

His creatures, as thou say'st we are, or shew me 
Thy dwelling, or his dwelling. 

LUCIFER. 

I could shew thee 

Both; but the time will come when thou shalt see one 
Of them for evermore. 

CAIN. 

And why not now ? 



WITH NOTES. 317 



Note 56. 

Lucifer informs Cain, as he has done before, that his dwelling 
was " o'er all space." And we admit, that, at any rate for a season, 
he has an ample range ; but, to admit his power of pervading all space, 
is inconsistent I conceive, with his being excluded from penetrating 
again into the regions from whence he was expelled for ever. His 
pretensions of having the range of all space, therefore, must be dis- 
allowed, and he be confined to Hell, or to such excursions in this 
world, as, under the title of the " prince" or ruler, " of the power of 
the air," may be permitted to him by the Almighty. Besides which 
indeed, it does appear from scripture, that he has been occasionally 
allowed to introduce himself among " the sons of God," as before 
noticed. But there seems to be reason to conclude, from some pas- 
sages of scripture, that, according to that remarkable expression of 
Jesus Christ, on his disciples declaring that even the devils were sub- 
ject to them, "I beheld Satan as lightning fell from Heaven" he 
has been peculiarly exchided from thence ever since. In fact, his 
external powers in particular, have declined incontestibly, from the 
time of the Saviour's appearance on the earth. Cain seems to have 
had some notion of Lucifer's expulsion, by pressing him with the 
necessity of his having some appropriated habitation, as all other 
beings appeared to have. And upon his intimating that the Al- 
mighty and he did not dwell together, Lucifer is under the ne- 
cessity, as well as not averse, to admit that; but asserts, that 
they reigned together, though their dwellings were asunder. No- 
thing can be more true than the latter : but as to the former, it is 
not true ; or at least with qualification ; for although we admit him 
to be " prince or ruler of the power of the air," he does not reign 
even in that capacity; he only exercises his authority under the 
permission of his maker, who suffers it for a season, until all his 
purposes are accomplished. Perhaps Lucifer may be considered as 
reigning, more properly and absolutely, over his associate rebel 



318 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

spirits : and if so, he may be said, in an inferior sense, to reign to- 
gether with the Almighty ; since the Almighty of course has not 
given up his own dominion over either Lucifer or them. Such then 
is the way, if at all, in which Lucifer reigns, either jointly or sepa- 
rately. Cain's reply, as will be seen in the next Note, is founded 
entirely on his ignorance, and the deception which his chosen teacher 
was practising upon him. There are not two of them ; so that Cain 
need not have wished there was but one. There was, and is, an 
unity of purpose ; viz. in the Almighty himself. And Cain, of all 
men, had little reason to talk of the elements being " jarr'd in storms." 
If the elements sometimes are affected, in the way of what men 
call storms, winds, earthquakes, thunder, lightning, hurricanes, and 
the like, such as he brought on Job ; yet those are casual, or even 
if appointed accidents, belonging to the system, though probably the 
effect of man's transgression too, but still under divine direction and 
controul ; and are not to be considered as such "jarring of the ele- 
ments" as Cain, though he most likely had never seen such things 
at all, describes rather as chaotic confusion than either the course of 
nature or those other and comparatively very inferior disturbances 
just adverted to. As to his question to Lucifer, how they (the Al- 
mighty and he) as spirits wise and infinite, came to separate ; al- 
though the question is quite appropriate to Cain, yet it is in itself 
no less absurd ; for Lucifer, though a spirit is neither wise nor infinite. 
Infinite, of course, as a creature, he cannot be ; of which, more 
presently. Wise he is not, though he is cunning; for wisdom ever 
pursues virtuous ends by virtuous means ; but he seeks evil ends by 
evil means. Besides, wisdom is never disjoined from goodness. 
He who is not good, is not wise, however otherwise knowing he 
may be ; because goodness is an attribute of God ; and he that does 
not resemble God in some degree in all his moral attributes, cannot be 
wise, as is obvious without argument. As to the " separation" of 
Lucifer from God, we well know what that was. Cain's conclud- 
ing question, if God and Lucifer are not brethren, in their es- 
sence, nature, and glory ; after all that has ..been said in former 



WITH NOTES. 319 

pages, needs no specific refutation of its grossness ; only, that as to 
Lucifer's glory, where shall we look for it, unless in the defeat of 
his rebellious attempts, and his punishment for them ? With res- 
pect to Lucifer's asking Cain, if he and Abel were not brethren, 
(in order to encourage and keep up the idea of Cain's preced- 
ing silly ascription of Lucifer's brotherhood with the Almighty,) it 
requires no reply. As to his enquiry if infinity can fall out with 
immortality ; Cain should have known and remembered what kind 
of " falling out" it was between the Almighty and Lucifer ; and that 
Lucifer was not infinite, though immortal ; nor even immortal, in 
defiance of God, but subject to the divine power to extinguish his 
immortality, and deprive him of all existence, if he saw fit. When 
Cain adverts to the boundlessness of space as sufficient both for the 
Almighty and Lucifer, the latter again declares they do both reign. 
How they reign, is seen before. As to their " differing," we have 
just remarked on the kind of " falling out," between omnipotence 
and any created being. So also their " differing." But Cain, now, 
assumes a serious look, and makes a very serious charge. " One of 
you makes evil." And, upon Lucifer's challenge, he does not stick 
to fix it upon Lucifer ; and his charge is grounded upon the propo- 
sition, or question, that, if Lucifer can do man good, why does he 
not? Lucifer vindicates himself by throwing the burthen, of doing 
good to man, upon man's creator. In that, he does rightly. But it 
need not have been in the form of a question, " why not he who 
made ?" He need not have asked why the Almighty did not do 
that, which he actually does. Cain, then, upon Lucifer's renounc- 
ing his right to man as his creatures, requests him therefore to leave 
them God's creatures : but he softens his injunction, by an alterna- 
tive, to gratify his own curiosity " or shew me thy dwelling, or 
his dwelling." Lucifer now puts on all his preposterous, as well as 
impious, audacity, by pretending he could shew Cain, not his own 
dwelling only, but the Almighty's : but that is impossible, correctly 
speaking ; for God dwells " in the light which no man can approach 
unto." Lucifer therefore could shew him no more than he had done; 



320 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

no more, in fact, than Cain could see on his own Earth, when he 
gazed upon his favourite "azure." Truly, however, does Lucifer 
add, that the time would come, when Cain should see one of them 
"for evermore." This very serious intimation does not seem to 
have made a corresponding impression on Cain's mind. Somewhat 
on the subject, has been hinted at in the course of these Notes, and 
precludes the necessity or propriety of adding more here. But Cain 
was impatient ; " and why not now ? " Long before this time, 
Cain has realized this, of all things most interesting, and all-im- 
portant, experience ; whether with that God, in bliss and glory, 
whom he despised and rejected ; or with that " Fiend," as Adah 
has called Lucifer, who brought "death and all their woe," (miti- 
gated as it mercifully was,) and whom Cain preferred as his friend 
and guide it is not for us to say, however painful the apprehension. 
This solicitude of Cain, however, draws from Lucifer the fol- 
lowing weighty, or at least imposing, and false, communication. 

LUCIFER. 

Thy human mind hath scarcely grasp to gather 

The little I have shewn thee into calm 

And clear thought ; and thou wouldst go on aspiring 

To the great double Mysteries ! the two Principles ! 

And gaze upon them on their secret thrones ! 

Dust ! limit thy ambition ; for to see 

Either of these, would be for thee to perish ! 

CAIN. 
And let me perish, so I see them ! 

LUCIFER. 

There 
The son of her who snatch'd the apple spake ! 



WITH NOTES. 3"2l 

But thou wouldst only perish, and not see them ; 
That sight is for the other state. 

CAIN. 

Of death "? 

LUCIFER. 

That is the prelude. 

CAIN. 

Then I dread it less, 
Now that I know it leads to something definite. 

Note 57. 

Before we enter upon the principal subject of this Note, one 
cannot forbear adverting to Cain's desperate curiosity, which he 
would gratify at the price of what he calls perishing ; but to perish 
by being annihilated was not in his power: the only way therefore 
in which he could have his choice to perish, was, to be lost eter- 
nally ; that is, to enter upon a state of endless and inconceivable 
misery, to which all the misery he pretended to, or which he could 
suffer to his dying day, could far less be compared, than the warmth 
of the mildest sun-beam to the most devouring fire. It seems how- 
ever to have delighted Lucifer, that Cain should shew himself so 
worthy of his parent, by even exceeding her : for she thought not 
of losing, but increasing, her happiness. Yet Lucifer is honest; 
and fairly tells Cain; he would gain only a loss by perishing in the 
attempt without accomplishing his purpose ; and that the sight of 
the secret thrones of the two principles was only obtainable in die 
other state, to which death was the prelude, and which therefore, 
Cain declared was now less terrific to him, since, on Lucifer's word, 
he knew (he should have said believed) it led to something definite. 



322 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Yet Lucifer was correct, too. For death of course, if revelation is to 
be credited, does lead to something definite. The question should 
be, what that definite is. And that I think should have been Cain's 
enquiry, before he was satisfied to die, upon such a serious uncer- 
tainty. However, he must take his own course; and we will now 
proceed to Lucifer's redoubtable " double mysteries, the two prin- 
ciples, on their secret thrones." 

Thinking men seem, in all ages, to have found a difficulty in 
accounting, satisfactorily, for those circumstances in the world which 
are termed, and perhaps, in common acceptation, properly termed, 
evils, moral, and natural ; such as the frequent disorders and con- 
flicts between the very elements, between animals, between men : 
add to which, the errors, miseries, and vices of the latter. The dif- 
ficulty seems to have consisted in conceiving that such a state of 
things could have been the production of a wise, and good, and all- 
powerful being. Their incapacity to find a solution of these en- 
quiries, led some, such as Epicurus and Lucretius in particular, and 
those who adhered to their opinions, to deny that there was any God 
at all ; or, if there were, that he was the author or governor of the 
world. Others, however, took a different view of things ; and see- 
ing the absurdity of admitting actions and effects, without also ad- 
mitting some agent or cause ; and still perceiving such mixture of 
good and evil, and imagining that the evil could not proceed from a 
good being, such as they took God to be ; fell into the supposition 
of a god, or intelligence, or active principle, malevolent in nature, 
and therefore directly contrary and opposed to God, or the good 
principle they meant by that term. Thus the origin of these "double 
mysteries, the two principles." From this malevolent or evil princi- 
ple, then, was supposed to proceed all the evil; as, from the good 
being, all the good. This was the opinion of the Manicheans, the 
followers of Manes, especially. 

I believe it is considered as impracticable, nor can it be ma- 
terial, to trace to its source the origin of this opinion ; for Manes 
appears not to have been its inventor, so much, as the reducer of it 



WITH NOTES. 323 

into a more regular and palpable shape. Zoroaster, who, as well as 
Manes, was a Persian, and contemporary with Cyrus the great, and 
reformed the religion of the Persian Magi, (but Manes was so late 
as the second century of the Christian aera,) is supposed to have 
held the same opinions. And in Bayle's Dictionary, Zoroaster is 
introduced as defending them, in the following manner. " Zoroas- 
ter," he says, " would go back to the time of the chaos, which, with 
regard to his two principles, is a state very like that which Hobbes 
calls the state of nature, and which he supposes to have preceded 
the establishment of societies. In this state of nature, one man was 
a wolf to another, and every thing belonged to the first occupier ; 
none was master of any thing, except he was the strongest. To get 
out of this confusion, every one agreed to quit his right to the whole, 
that he might be acknowledged the proprietor of some part ; they 
entered into agreements, and the war ceased. Thus the two princi- 
ples weary of this chaos, wherein each confounded and overthrew 
what the other attempted to do, came at last to an agreement ; each 
of them yielded something ; each had a share in the production of 
man, and the laws of the union of the soul. The good principle ob- 
tained those which procure to man a thousand pleasures, and con- 
sented to those which expose him to a thousand pains ; and if he 
consented that moral good should be infinitely less in mankind than 
moral evil, he repaired the damage in some other kind of creatures, 
wherein vice should be much less than virtue. If many men in this 
life have more misery than happiness, this is recompensed in another 
state ; what they have not in a human form, they find under another. 
By means of this agreement, the chaos became disembroiled ; the 
chaos, I say, a passive principle, which was the field of battle be- 
tween these two active ones. You see what Zoroaster might object, 
valuing himself that he does not throw any imputation upon the 
good principle, of having with full purpose produced a work, which 
was to be so wicked and miserable; but only, after he had found, 
by experience, that he could do no better, nor more effectually op- 
pose the horrible designs of the evil principle. To render this hypo- 

y 2 



324 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

thesis the less offensive, he might have denied that there was a long 
war between the two principles, and lay aside all those fights and 
prisoners which the Manicheans speak of. The whole might be 
reduced to the certain knowledge of the two principles, that the one 
could never obtain from the other but such and such conditions : an 
eternal agreement might have been made upon this foot." 

That there is no occasion for resorting to such a hypothesis, is 
the opinion of perhaps all intelligent persons of the present day. 
But it may be proper to notice some of its inseparable absurdities. 
It is presumed, that the evil principle, who is one of the subjects of 
it, must be intended to be absolute and infinite in his nature ; in 
other words, an absolute, and infinitely evil, principle. But the sup- 
position of such an absolute, and infinitely evil, principle, is an ex- 
press contradiction. For as this principle opposes and resists the in- 
finitely good one ; (for an infinitely good one also must be presumed ; 
because less than infinite would be nothing, for the purposes pro- 
posed ;) therefore, the evil principle must also be independent and 
infinite, or absolute, in knowledge and power. But the notion of a 
being infinitely evil, is of one infinitely imperfect ; for infinitely 
evil, of course, implies the total absence of every thing good, 
whether moral or physical ; its knowledge and power therefore must 
be infinitely imperfect ; that is absolute ignorance and impotence ; 
or, no knowledge and power at all. The one of these beings then 
(the good principle) is absolutely perfect ; or, enjoys all manner of 
positive perfections ; and consequently the other, being directly the 
reverse, must be purely the negation of it, as darkness is of light ; 
i. e. it must be an infinite defect, or mere nothing. Thus this evil 
being must have some knowledge and power, in order to make any 
opposition at all to the good one ; but as he is directly opposite to 
that good or perfect one, he cannot have the least degree of knowledge 
or power, since these are perfections ; therefore the supposition of 
such an existence as this, implies a contradiction. 

But supposing advocates of this doctrine to mean (as any per- 
son of sense must mean) by this evil principle, an absolutely malevo- 



WITH NOTES. 325 

lent being of equal power, and other natural perfections with those 
of the good one. " It would be to no purpose," says Archbishop 
Tillotson, " to suppose two such opposite principles. For : admit 
that a being infinitely mischievous, were infinitely cunning, and infi- 
nitely powerful, yet it could do no evil, because the opposite princi- 
ple, of infinite goodness, being also infinitely wise and powerful, they 
would tie up one another's hands : so that, upon this supposition, the 
notion of a deity would signify just nothing ; and, by virtue of the 
eternal opposition and equality of these principles, they would keep 
one another at perpetual bay ; and being an equal match for one 
another, instead of being two deities, they would be two idols, able 
to do neither good nor evil." 

Neither does Bayle's amendment of this hypothesis free it from 
the difficulty. He supposes the two principles to be sensible of the 
above-mentioned consequence arising from their equality of power, 
and therefore willing to compound the matter by allowing an equal 
mixture of good and evil in the intended creation. But if the quan- 
tity of good and evil in the creation be exactly equal, neither of the 
principles has attained, or could expect to attain, the end for which 
it was supposed to act. The good principle designed to produce 
some absolute good, the evil one some absolute evil ; but to produce 
an equal mixture of both, would be, in effect, producing neither. 
One would just counterbalance and destroy the other ; and all such 
actions would be the very same as doing nothing at all. And that 
such an exact equality of good and evil must be the result of any 
agreement between them is plain ; for, as they are by supposition 
perfectly equal in inclination, as well as power ; neither of them 
could possibly concede, and let its opposite prevail. The creation 
therefore cannot be owing to such a composition. Archbishop 
King, Origin of Evil, Chapter ii. 

The foregoing considerations seem satisfactorily to overturn 
these " great double mysteries, the two principles," and their " secret 
thrones," and discover the whole to be as much phantoms as any 
which Lucifer had been exhibiting to his wondering pupil ; and if 



326 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Lucifer meant to insinuate that he himself was either of these princi- 
ples, his deception is detected. The good principle he could not be, 
and the evil one is seen to be an impossibility. It therefore remains . 
that there is one supreme creator and governor of all things ; all- wise, 
all-powerful, and all-good; infinite, eternal, unchangeable; the 
God of Plato and of Cicero ; die Jehovah of the Bible ; the God of 
Christians. This conclusion arrived at, there nevertheless remains 
occasion for the observation, that moral and physical evil, (at least 
what mankind generally call, and feel, to be such,) actually exists in 
creation. And this has given rise to much reflection among men, 
and much reasoning, and various opinions, and considerable unset- 
tledness, not to say uneasiness, to some thinking minds. In consi- 
dering the question of the two principles, we have seen, that it is 
admitted, that good only was to have proceeded from the good prin- 
ciple. Seeing then we have concluded, that God is that good prin- 
ciple, and has no opposer, it has been, with some anxiety, asked, 
whence came evil into the world ? If God could not hinder it, where 
is his power ? If he could, and would not, where is his goodness ? 
In order therefore to account for this production of evil, so called, 
it has been asserted, under the authority of much reasoning, that God, 
although omnipotent, cannot make any created being absolutely per- 
fect ; for that whatever is absolutely perfect must necessarily be self- 
existent, which a cisature cannot be. Absolute perfection is therefore 
peculiar to God ; and if he should communicate his own peculiar 
perfections to another, that other would be God. It may also be 
said that absolute perfection is infinity. And it cannot be supposed 
possible for God to create an infinite being. And as a being, not 
infinite, is necessarily imperfect, it is liable to evil. God then, it is 
said, must either not have created at all, or must have created beings 
not infinite, who, consequently, must be imperfect and defective. 
Had God himself not been infinite in goodness, he would not have 
created such beings, viz. finite, and consequently imperfect and de- 
fective, and whom he knew to be therefore liable to the unavoidable 
occurrence of what is called moral evil ; he would rather have remained 



WITH NOTES. 327 

satisfied with the enjoyment of his own perfections. But being in- 
finite in goodness, he preferred to create, for the purpose of impart- 
ing felicity to the greatest possible extent ; while his goodness would 
still be exerted in diminishing the inevitable accompanying evils, in 
the greatest degree consistent with the order and well being of the 
whole. And the advocates for this opinion contend that the evil that 
is in creation, great as it appears, bears a very small proportion 
to the good. Had therefore the divine goodness denied existence to 
created beings on account of the concomitant evils, he might be 
thought unwilling to see happiness in other beings than himself, since 
he allowed none to exist beside himself; and while he refused to 
admit every kind and degree of evil, he would have rejected also all 
the good. Thus then (it is said) the necessity for the Manichean 
principle of evil, to account for evil, is avoided, and that, in perfect 
consistency with the idea of a creator of infinite power, wisdom, and 
goodness. This system, it is conceived, accounts for what is termed 
evil, by the impossibility of God's creating any but finite, and therefore 
imperfect beings ; which are, from the necessity of things, liable to evil. 
On the other hand, there are not wanting those who, with equal 
reverence for the Almighty, and regard to all his attributes of power, 
wisdom, and goodness, think it an unjustifiable limitation of his om- 
nipotence and wisdom to suppose, that he could not have hindered, 
or cannot now hinder, evil ; asserting at the same time, that his good- 
ness invariably orders all things for the best. They therefore resolve 
the existence of this, usually termed, evil, into the divine permission ; 
deeming that God is by no means bound to preclude evil from among 
his works. They attribute it to his unsearchable will, which is ever 
rectitude itself, that he thus allows the entrance, and the continu- 
ance, of what is externally felt as evil, as a seeming foil to the gene- 
ral loveliness and excellence of his creation. Those, who think thus, 
consider, that revelation throws scarcely any degree of light upon the 
divine motives to this permission; and that the reasons of it are 
amongst those things which even the angels are represented as desir- 
ous to look into. They say also, that 



328 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

" All nature is but art, unknown to thee ; 
All chance, direction which thou canst not see ; 
All discord, harmony not understood ; 
All partial evil, universal good ; 
And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite, 
One truth is clear : whatever is, is right." 

It cannot be denied, that scripture decidedly countenances this unre- 
served ascription of sovereign right in the Almighty, on the one 
hand, to do " what seemeth him good," with his own ; and on the 
other, strongly approves and requires, the most implicit resignation 
of man to the will of his maker, as well as the most unlimited reposal 
upon his evident goodness. And it seems difficult to come to a more 
satisfactory or rational result. For though absolute and unlimited 
sovereignty on Earth, among weak and wicked men, is certainly 
not desirable ; yet that reason does not hold in regard of Him, who is 
as perfect in wisdom and in goodness as he is unlimited in power. 
Perhaps too great pains are taken to account for the divine proceed- 
ings. Are not men too unwilling or fearful to trust God to answer 
for himself? Does not this arise from a secret doubt, or distrust, or 
unbelief, lest the Judge of all the Earth should not do right? 
Ought not our vindications (if I may so speak) of the Almighty, to be 
'less to account for or explain the propriety of his conduct, than to 
establish the truth and certainty of his revealed mind and will ? Yet 
those vindications may certainly extend to the removal of aspersions, 
and the detection and confutation of false charges, whether open or 
insinuative. Nor are men debarred from employing their faculties, 
in concurrence with, and submission to, the notices God has graci- 
ously given of himself, in enquiring into many things, which may 
throw pleasing and satisfactory light upon the general nature or rea- 
sons of the divine proceedings. And are the most sagacious of men, 
unaided by revelation, more equal to the comprehension of the divine 
and infinite mind, than an infant of a day old is to that of its parent, 
or so much so? And if acquiescence in revelation be professed, 



WITH NOTES. 329 

ought men to go beyond, much more to deny or contradict it in any 
part, because it squares not with their notions of right and wrong ? 
This question does not clash with a preceding remark on the propri- 
ety of arguing from man to God on general moral principles, when- 
ever it can be done without having the effect of contradicting his 
revealed mind and will. Having settled what is an authentic revela- 
tion, should not whatever that revelation states to be the will of God, 
or his acts, or his mode of proceeding, be received and acquiesced 
in, rather than canvassed and disputed ? Among men, there may 
be greater latitude. 

But to this must still be added, that, if revelation be to be relied 
upon, the evil, as it is termed, which is seen and felt in the world, 
is (when not the immediate act of God himself for his own righteous 
and beneficent purposes) either the natural or moral effect of its cause, 
the transgression of our first parents, through the instigation of Luci- 
fer, and which induced a most important and deathly change in their 
whole nature ; similar effects to which we see exemplified in a thou- 
sand instances among men ; or else, such (so termed) evil, is the im- 
mediate and proper work of Lucifer himself, though still under divine 
regulation and controul, and applied to the purposes of the divine 
moral government. And Lucifer himself, it is to be remembered, 
was created, according to the foregoing suppositions, necessarily, not 
infinite, and therefore, not absolutely perfect, even in wisdom ; and 
thence liable to too great self-exaltation from contemplating his real 
greatness, which produced in him pride, and rebellion, and an affect- 
ation of independency, self-creation, if not of sovereignty, and omni- 
potence. If it be asked why then did God create such beings as 
Lucifer and his associate rebels, knowing their future fall, and all the 
moral evil and sin which they would be the instruments of introduc- 
ing ? there seem to be three ways of answering that enquiry. First, 
that they filled that place in creation, which the connexion, and the 
dependence, of the whole, required, and that, if created at all, they 
must have been so created, as is before explained. Secondly, that 
it was not consistent, as lately observed, with infinite goodness, not 



330 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

to create in that way, rather than not create at all, though the sub- 
jects of unavoidable imperfection, and thence exposed to moral evil. 
Thirdly, if both those reasons are unsatisfactory, then there seems to 
be nothing to stand or to rest upon, but the absolute wisdom, and 
evident and perfect goodness of deity ; to both which it seemed good, 
that there should be such a being, and such results. The only ques- 
tion is are we, or are we not, disposed, by rational conviction of 
the propriety of so doing, to ascribe unerring wisdom and perfect 
goodness to God ? If we are, in that we may rationally and securely 
rest : if not, what mighty system shall worms of earth substitute for 
that ascription, and for a ready submission to it ? I say worms of 
earth, as always applicable to man when he sets himself in array 
against, by questioning, his maker. When he does not so, he 
retains his native and proper respectability in existence. Mere meta- 
physical disquisitions, are as interminable as they are futile and un- 
satisfactory on such subjects. Generations have passed away, and 
generations may pass away in disputing, and no satisfactory con- 
clusions come to, except upon scriptural principles. The question if 
treated according to human notions must ever be left where found. 
The labour ought to be, to establish revelation. That established, 
all difficulty vanishes. " It is God's will, and he is good" is quite 
sufficient, if that system, from which it is deduced, can be shewn to 
be, itself, impregnable. But man is fond of having moral, as well 
as other difficulties to encounter. He is not content with his creator's 
authority ; but chooses to use his powers, given him for better pur- 
poses, in questioning that authority ; or, if he fail there, in arguing 
upon or denying the propriety even of his creator's plain proceedings, 
and setting up a better plan of his own devising ! ! ! This, in truth, 
is a Luciferian " gift" from the " fatal apple," as the " Master of Spi- 
rits" presently terms it. 

These ideas are offered as just deductions and conclusions upon 
the basis of admitting, with Plato, and Cicero, and Lord Byron, the 
existence of a supreme creator and moral governor of infinite wisdom, 
and goodness, and power. And being convinced also of the authen- 



WITH NOTES. 331 

ticity of that which has been previously considered as a revelation 
from the creator himself, are we not confident, that in these conclu- 
sions, reason is fully borne out by that revelation ? Quotations from 
it to that effect were endless, and the subject is too notorious to need 
them. The whole revelation is that of the absolute supremacy or 
sovereignty, as well as of the goodness and wisdom, of the Almighty, 
and that " his ways are past finding out," farther than he sees it good 
to reveal them. And without such revelation, is it to be rationally 
expected that finite should comprehend infinite ? 

Connected with these subjects is that very trite one, on which 
so many and perhaps conflicting opinions have been held, and state- 
ments made, as to who is to be deemed me " author of sin." And 
a kind of morbid sensitiveness is often exhibited, even in common 
conversation, lest that character should be taken off from man and 
thrown upon his maker. From what I have ever read or heard 
spoken on the subject, it seems to me, that it has not yet been viewed 
exactly in the right way ; nor so as to set the matter completely at 
rest, by shutting the door to that enquiry. I hold myself, therefore, 
to be quite at liberty, on this occasion, to state my own views of the 
matter ; and if I do it freely, it will not be irreverently, but with the 
sincere desire of eliciting truth, and, so far as I may be permitted, 
justifying my creator, and attributing to man all he ought to bear. 
I am conscious of the delicacy, and perhaps difficulty, of the discus- 
sion ; and if I treat it weakly, yet I trust it will not be hurtfully ; 
and hope that a candid allowance will be made, if, in my anxiety to 
be clear, I should fall into a little of what may be deemed repeti- 
tionary statement. And as the subjects of the author of sin, and the 
origin of evil, go mostly together, I beg to be allowed some inter- 
mixture, though, I trust, not so as to create confusion. The will of 
God, as usually distinguished from his permission, will be also 
noticed. 

It has, then, been before asserted, that physical or natural evil, ad- 
mitting the term in its usual acceptation, is not legitimately to be con- 
sidered as the ordinary spring of good, as Adam in a preceding page, has 



332 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

expressed it. Good is imparted usually, and originally, without the 
aid of previous evil, in God's general administration. God alone is 
the spring of good. Evil, so called, sometimes occurs ; and then, 
often, God educes good out of that also. This sentiment is not in- 
tended to be retracted or weakened ; much less contradicted, by 
what, further, is about to be stated. It is admitted therefore that the 
revolted angels are the remote (as well as sometimes the immediate) 
cause of all physical, as well as, also, of all moral evil, or sin ; inas- 
much as sin first entered into the world by their (or Lucifer's) pro- 
curement, as has been seen ; and, but for sin, there had been no na- 
tural evil. Yet it seems necessary to qualify this statement by ob- 
serving, that it cannot be known that Adam would not have fallen, 
though Lucifer had not tempted. He might, for aught we know, 
have used his liberty to transgress, without foreign incitement. Sin 
however would still have been the result. It cannot also be denied, 
that God was the creator, originator, or author, of those beings who 
have thus caused sin, but who were nevertheless self-tempted, self- 
corrupted, and voluntarily revolted from their maker. If indeed that 
be a mystery to man, so it must remain. It is \hefact. Should it 
then be demanded of me, if I mean thus to make God the author of 
sin ; I reply, by first demanding, as I have a right to do, a defini- 
tion of the term sin ; what is sin ? The scriptural answer must be, 
" sin is the transgression of the law ; " meaning, of course, the divine 
law. But does not that require a subject of that law who either 
obeys or transgresses it? Is not man that subject? Can God be 
the subject of his own law ? Can he be imagined to be the trans- 
gressor of it? Then if sin be the transgression of the law, and God 
cannot be either the subject, or the transgressor, of his own law ; how 
can the Almighty, by any possible accuracy of language, be said to 
be the author of sin ? Man, however, is, actually, the committer of 
sin, by that very transgression we are considering. But to term 
even man the " author of sin," generally, on that account, seems to 
be no less improper, than to term a man who commits an act of 
murder, the author of murder generally. We call him indeed a 



WITH NOTES. 333 

murderer; and certainly the author of the particular murder he 
commits ; but not of murder universally, or in the abstract. The 
very frequent expression, " author of sin," therefore, I confess is, to 
my own apprehension, a most unscriptural, incorrect, and unmeaning 
one, to say the least. To whom can it apply ? To God it cannot, 
as we have just seen. Nor to man, I think, with any propriety. 
The just conclusion appears to me to be, that God is the author of 
all things, causes and effects, without exception ; but man is a volun- 
tary, and therefore punishable, sinner. But there can be no " au- 
thor of sin," in the abstract ; because sin is not a general existence 
like the material creation which has, properly speaking, an author ; 
but it is a specific act (and therefore there is no sin where there is no 
act) either bodily or mental. For sin may be committed by the 
body, or in mind only. And a created being only, the subject of 
moral government, can be the perpetrator of such acts as constitute 
sin. Man indeed is an author of sin, so often as he transgresses his 
maker's law. And although God is the author of man's existence, 
including all his moral capacities and qualities (for can any thing 
be without an author, or first cause? and what first cause shall we 
assign but God ? ) yet, if man sins by transgressing the divine law, 
he is conscious that his maker did not incite him to it, much less 
force him, and therefore was not the author of his sinful act. Neither 
was God the author of Eve's or Adam's original transgression or sin, 
although he was certainly the creator and author of Eve, and Adam, 
and Lucifer in their respective natures, capacities, and qualities. 
But as they all voluntarily and by choice, committed then: respective 
transgressions, they were therefore the authors of their respective sin- 
ful acts. 

If then, nothing that is instrinsically and essentially (not merely 
formally, or relatively) evil, can possibly proceed from, or be per- 
mitted by, a perfectly good being, of sufficient wisdom and power to 
hinder it ; and we have meant to shew no such evil can : and if God 
be such a being ; as we have seen he is : and if moral evil be the 
crimes of men, and the crimes of men be transgressions of God's 



334 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

law, and therefore sins : and if nothing can be, against or without the 
divine will; then, what rational conclusion can follow but, that what 
is, in common language termed, and felt, as moral evil or sin, can- 
not be intrinsically, or essentially, (though it may be formally, or 
relatively") evil ; but must, on the contrary, be, intrinsically and es- 
sentially, good, in the divine government. Yet this it has been seen 
does not diminish man's responsibility for sin. For were that, which 
is called evil, intrinsically and essentially so, it could not be without 
God's will: and we have seen, that as a good and powerful being, 
God could neither will nor permit essential evil to be. And w r herein, 
candidly speaking, consists the difference between will, and " effi- 
cacious purpose or permission," or, "permissive will " ? What is 
gained by those unscriptural distinctions? Can the Almighty be 
supposed to permit any thing against his will ? What definite idea 
or meaning can be attached to "permissive will"? And must there 
not be the will of some intelligent being for the existence of every in- 
dividual thing, or quality, of which man can form an idea ? And 
will we admit any such Almighty being beside God ? Shall it be 
Lucifer ? Or his principle of evil ? With respect to calling sin a 
not-being ; or a privation ; or a negation ; or a want of conformity 
to the divine law ; rather than a positive being, like virtue or truth ; 
what is effected by that distinction? For how came man by the na- 
ture, or character, which involves such not-being, or privation, or 
negation, or want of conformity ? Did he make himself? Did Lu- 
cifer, or some " evil principle" opposed to God, create him ? Can 
we possibly escape from that circle ? Must we not ever revert to the 
same point? I think so. But, out of the fancied entanglement of 
making man irresponsible for his actual moral evil or sin ; that we 
may and can escape from, and yet leave the almighty, the all-pow- 
erful, all-wise, all-good Jehovah, in full and undisputed posses- 
sion of all his attributes, and the sole and actual author of all exis- 
tence and all qualities, and without whose will nothing can be, or be 
conceived of, in the mind of man or angel. Who can, with ration- 
ality, deny that God is the original source of all, without exception ? 



WITH NOTES. 335 

Must not all tilings, and all, objects of human or angelic thought, 
have some original source ? What other than God will man be 
pleased to substitute ? Will he, to magnify himself, substitute him- 
self for his creator ? And divide his empire ? " So that I do di- 
vide his ; and possess a kingdom which is not his," says Lucifer : 
and is man ambitious to imitate so imposing an example ? Or shall 
Lucifer, or his principle of evil, be that first source ? How then, it 
may be asked, shall the problem be solved, so as, at once to leave 
the Almighty in his sovereign, sole omnipotency, wisdom, and good- 
ness, as the sole and declared first source and author of all tilings, 
even of man's and angel's entire nature, capacities, and qualities, phy- 
sical and moral ; and yet demonstrate man to be also justly inexcus- 
able for sin ? I solve it by God's own word. I solve it as I solve 
" God manifest in the flesh" that " great mystery of right worship 
and true religion." I solve it as Dr. Copplestone solves the consis- 
tency of predestination with (as he conceives it) human liberty. He 
solves it, by declaring, that he folds it in God's word, and therefore 
cannot dispute it. It is true, that reverend dignitary finds too, ac- 
cording to his own views, that man possesses volition or general free 
will. And I find also in the divine word, that man indeed possesses 
(what he freely uses) a free will certainly to sin. The fact, therefore, 
I believe, on evidence. For God's word declares him the creator, 
author, and source, of all. So does reason. His word declares that 
nothing (no being or quality) can be, without his will. So does rea- 
son. . Man is also pronounced a voluntary, and therefore guilty, sin- 
ner, by the same authority. What is the meaning of " efficacious 
purpose or permission," or, " permissive will" ? Are there two kinds 
of the divine permission, one by God's will, the other against it? If 
not, then what is the meaning of will, in a being of absolute power ? 
Does it not mean effective determination, leading to the certain 
execution of what such being wills ? In such a being can " efficacious 
purpose or permission," or, " permissive will," mean any thing less 
than absolute will, or effective determination ? Is a will, if not ab- 
solute and effective, any will at all, in fact ? Desiring I take to 



336 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

be different from willing. The former may belong to an impotent, 
the latter properly only to an omnipotent or powerful being. Even 
admitting, for argument, that the Divine Being may be said to desire, 
short of willing ; can it be admitted, that God may desire, and be 
frustrated ? Is not that idea contrary to the whole tenour of revela- 
tion ? Would it not introduce the utmost confusion, so far as man 
can conceive ? And is not the idea derogatory to the divine charac- 
ter in every view of it ; its stability of purpose, not the least? No- 
thing therefore, can be, without the will of GOD. 

Instead, then, of perpetuating the old enquiry, " who is the 
author of sin ?" would not the proper question rather be, can the 
divine will, or acts, be otherwise, by any possibility, than right and 
good? 

God's word again declares man to be a sinner : so does reason. 
It declares man to be punishable for sin : so does reason. The mys- 
tery, but the fact, is, that man's conscience tells him, and he is 
satisfied by conviction, that although God is the author of his entire 
nature, yet he sins voluntarily and against his better knowledge. 
He is therefore the author, because the willing perpetrator, of his 
own sin, and therefore justly liable to the penal consequences of sin. 
When man can shew that his creator forces him to sin, or that by 
any means he is not a free and voluntary agent in sinning ; then, and 
not till then, I conceive, there will be a fairly open door for the un- 
scriptural question of " who is the author of sin ?" Sin, I beg to repeat, 
is "the transgression of God's law." God therefore, although the 
author of all existences, and all natures, is not the subject of his own 
law, nor can be the violator of it, and therefore not an author of sin, 
which character consists only in the violation of the divine law. 
Whoever violates or transgresses the divine law, and none other, is 
or can be, an author of sin, Sin is not an abstract : it is essentially 
connected with, indeed consists in, acts, either of the body or the 
mind. Man therefore, and Lucifer, and revolted angelic beings, are 
the only free perpetrators, and therefore authors, of their respective 
sinful acts : not of sin abstractedly, there being no such thing. 



WITH NOTES. 337 

But for somewhat further elucidation, I beg just to repeat an 
early argument (to which I think few will disagree) that, contem- 
plating the directing hand of a being of infinite and absolute wisdom, 
and goodness, and power ; reason and revelation forbid our admit- 
ting that real, essential evil can possibly emanate from, or be permit- 
ted by, such a being. Therefore ought not scripture language to be 
interpreted on this as on other subjects, and be considered as speak- 
ing according to the ordinary perceptions of mankind? So that, 
when the Almighty declares, he " creates evil; " it must mean, he 
performs such acts, or constitutes such characters among men, as his 
moral government, and the manifestation of his own attributes, and 
the highest good, render right and necessary ; and which acts, &c. 
are therefore intrinsically, and essentially, good ; although, to man, 
they have the nature, or impart the feeling, of that to which human 
language gives the term, " evil." God then, speaks of evil, accom- 
modatingly to human ideas. As, when his arm is said to be out- 
stretched ; his ear to hear ; his eye to see, or that he grieves, or re- 
pents; while, at the same time, the Divine' Being, as a pure Spirit, is 
admitted to be equally without parts, and without passions. It must, 
therefore, either be admitted that there is no such thing as absolute, 
and proper, intrinsic, and essential, but only relative and formal evil, 
whether moral or physical, in creation ; or else it must be shewn, 
that God is not a being perfect in wisdom, goodness, and power ; or, 
that such a being can and may love to do real evil ; but which alter- 
native propositions I again (fearless of being opposed by God-fear- 
ing and enlightened men) deny. For we have I trust clearly seen 
that the Almighty cannot be believed either to do or permit such evil. 
And where is the difference between permitting and doing in this 
case ? If a man construct an engine, which he knows will, after 
certain revolutions, produce a specific effect, if he hinder it not ; 
and he do not hinder it, but purposely allows the occurrence of the 
expected effect ; in such case, I confess, that not the engine but the 
constructor of it must be considered the author of the effect produced. 
It cannot be denied. But, in the human and angelic creation, there 

z 



338 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

is certainly that nature which totally excludes any such conclusion 
in point of defence for sin. Man cannot pretend he does not sin vo- 
luntarily, and of free choice. Hence his just liability to the conse- 
quences of sin as declared in scripture. His voluntary commission 
of sin may be mysterious (as Dr. Copplestone admits predestination 
and volition to be, although consistent, however apparently incon- 
sistent) since he was not self-created ; but it is the fact. It is the 
will which even in human laws, creates responsibility, where under- 
standing is not wanting. But man has reason, also another source 
of responsibility ; and conscience, another still, and still more deci- 
dedly against his claim to irresponsibility. Hence, from these multi- 
plied sources, man's accountability. 

I am not unapprized not only of the arguments against the 
foregoing views of the sovereignty, and sole efficiency, of the will of 
God, and which are adduced by those who think it right to deny to 
their creator the privilege (claimed by themselves) of doing, with 
his own creatures, " what seemeth him good ;" but also of the 
opposite arguments of those who favour these views, by shewing, 
that things could not be otherwise than those views describe them, on 
scriptural grounds ; and that, on the same principles, the Almighty 
has more fully manifested his own character of wisdom and goodness, 
and produced more happiness, than he otherwise could have done. 
All which last, I concur in, and refer to. But my present pro- 
vince is to be more concise, and to place the subject upon the nar- 
rower, but not less firm, basis, of the divine revelation, as I have 
aimed to do ; and in such reasoning and considerations as have ap- 
peared to me to be conformable to it. 

In connexion with this subject too, it may be asked, if it do not 
appear quite consistent with the view before taken of the impossi- 
bility of there being any real natural evil in creation, to add, that 
according to man's nature in his present state, although much good 
may well be, and is, enjoyed, independently of evil (always mean- 
ing "evil" in the sense before explained ) yet, that some such " evil," 
as it is termed, seems even necessary to procure to man the extent 



AV1TH NOTES. 339 

and variety of enjoyment of which he is capable. Would he not, 
and a great portion of his faculties, become torpid and useless also, 
without those occasions, which the same " evil" affords for bringing 
them into action ? Besides, is not man's nature fitted and prepared 
for it by his mindful creator ? See the intellect, the skill, the mind, 
and the fortitude, bestowed upon navigators, travellers, enquirers into 
nature, in all her beauties, in all her grandeur, and in all her terror ? 
What frozen, or torrid, clime ; what mountain, what desert, what 
ocean, deters them ? May they not stay at home ? Do they com- 
plain of [as evils] their hardships, or their frequent sufferings, thus 
willingly and freely encountered ? Do not the results of these ex- 
ploits of man produce from some, as they ought to do from all, an 
increased reverence and admiration of God's works, as well as gratitude 
for numberless instances of his preserving providence? Whether 
man do, or do not, let his inquisitiveness, and unrestrained ardour, 
pry farther into the arcana of creation, than God would have him 
do, is, possibly, a question. But still, from those adventurers, neither 
evils nor sufferings are heard of as complaints. Beside travellers 
and navigators, consider agriculturists for instance. How often, and 
from whom, among them (is it from the wise, the good, the industri- 
ous ?) do we hear those circumstances of the elements and seasons, 
which occasion trouble and perhaps suffering, complained of as 
"evil"? Does not God endow them with adequate powers of body 
and mind and other resources in themselves and others ? Wonder- 
fully, and beneficently, therefore, is the nature of man fitted for his 
present circumstances ; as, in a future state, he will be fitted for 
them also. Then, look into more private life. At any rate they 
will not take upon them to complain (or if they do, they cannot be 
listened to, if relieved) who have evidently brought evils (or suffer- 
ings) upon themselves. And what multitudes are they ? How many 
are there, who suffer evil from that most fruitful source ? Then, if 
it be admitted, that there are some, who have not brought evils, (or suf- 
ferings) immediately, or remotely, on themselves, and yet labour un- 
der them ; such will, it is conceived, be always of such a character, as 

7. 2 



340 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

rather to justify than charge God, on account of them. The "evils" 
these suffer are ever so mitigated by attendant circumstances or in- 
ward consolations, of one kind or other, that either the sufferer would 
not be without them ; (he calls them not evils ;) or else, at least, is 
enabled by divine influence, to say, " all things work together for 
my good ;" or, " shall I receive from God's hand good and not evil 
also?" or, "he gave, and hath taken away; blessed be his name :" 
or, "he doeth all things well:" or, "what I know not now I 
shall know hereafter :" or, "though thou slay me, yet will I trust 
in thee." Or some such other expressions, out of the innumerable 
sources of rejoicing in suffering, which are to be found in that reve- 
lation before spoken of; which, if men receive, all evil vanishes, as 
the vapours before the sun. In one word ; if, notwithstanding ra- 
tional and moral evidence, men will reject that revelation which 
their creator has made respecting himself; "evil" then, to them, 
will and must be evil ; for as it is Lucifer's so it is their choice ; they 
may pretend not to choose it, but they do. Lucifer affected not to 
love evil " for its own bitter sake." Why then did he rebel against 
his maker ? But to those who duly receive the revelation there can 
be no evil. As for those of mankind, less " enlightened 11 it may 
be, than the rejecters of revelation, and who never heard of it, they 
will not be judged by it. But, among them, the fewest complaints 
of evil will be heard. Perhaps no complaint at all. And if so, what 
will they say hereafter, who have these notices of God, and yet make 
his " evils" a subject of complaint ? 

Upon the whole of this subject therefore, I would reduce it to 
three or four principles ; 

First. That God is a sovereign in the highest sense ; a moral 
governor also ; the sole creator and ordainer of all existences, with all 
their moral capacities, and qualities : that he is also all-wise, all-pow- 
erful, and all-good, and therefore cannot err ; nor can do, nor per- 
mit, pure, essential evil. 

Second. That under such government no pure essential evil,' 
moral or physical, can be in creation. All is, and cannot but be, 
essentially and absolutely good. 



WITH NOTES. 341 

Third. That man is, as in scripture declared, and in all right 
reason, and therefore justly, responsible and punishable for sin, be- 
cause he sins voluntarily. 

Fourth. That the term, " the author of sin" is unfounded in 
scripture, and illogical. There can be no "author of sin," in the 
abstract. 

Is it not ever desirable to hold important truths without unscrip- 
tural hesitation, and to escape from wrong or incorrect impressions or 
persuasions ? It appears also to me, that to deny God's sovereignty 
and indisputable and absolute right over his creatures, accompanied 
too as that right is by unerring wisdom and infinite goodness ; is, to 
deny his essential nature, and attributes ; and to do that, is to deny 
God. 

The consistency of considering the Almighty as the author of all 
intelligent creatures, with all their moral liabilities, on the one hand ; 
and yet man as responsible for his sins on the other; is precisely that 
consistency which Dr. Copplestone advocates for the doctrines of 
predestination and free will, which, however apparently inconsistent, 
he declares to be the doctrine of God's word, as well as of the esta- 
blishment of which he is now a dignitary. 

LUCIFER. 

And now I will convey thee to thy world, 

Where thou shalt multiply the race of Adam, 

Eat, drink, toil, tremble, laugh, weep, sleep, and die. 

CAIN. 

And to what end have I beheld these things 
Which thou hast shewn me? 

LUCIFER. 

Didst thou not require 



342 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Knowledge! And have I not, in what I shew'd, 
Taught thee to know thyself? 

CAIN. 

Alas ! I seem 
Nothing. 

LUCIFER. 

And this should be the human sum 
Of knowledge, to know mortal nature's nothingness ; 
Bequeath that science to thy children, and 
'T will spare them many tortures. 

Note 58. 

The purposes for which Lucifer now tells Cain he shall convey 
him back to his world, are evidently in Lucifer's own contemptuous 
or sarcastic style. Those purposes however, although such as are 
either essential or allowable under right regulation, yet are not all 
the purposes for which Cain should have been taken back to his 
world. Yet it could not be expected of Lucifer to inform his hoped- 
for victim, that his grand purpose in his own world was, to become 
increasingly acquainted with his maker, and progressively advancing 
in the enjoyment of his favour; of which there are not wanting in- 
stances in the very record from which these transactions have taken 
their rise. Much less would Lucifer instruct Cain, that his next 
purpose, one indeed with, and inseparable from, the first, was, after 
death to avoid his (Lucifer's) realms and government, and to secure 
happiness in Heaven. These main, and truly important things, it 
was not likely that Lucifer should teach his pupil : and had he so 
taught him, there seems little hope of his then receiving the lesson. 
He does, however, seem to think his journey of little avail, by sensi- 



WITH NOTES. 343 

bly asking Lucifer, to what end he had shewn him what he had. 
But the reply of Lucifer is still characteristically deceptive. It does 
not strike me, mat Lucifer had taught Cain a particle of true or use- 
ful self-knowledge, as he pretended. For although, in answer to 
Cain's lamentation that he seemed nothing, Lucifer does say, truly 
enough, in one sense, that the human sum of knowledge should be, 
to know mortal nature's nothingness ; yet not so truly in another and 
more important sense. But what else is to be looked for, generally 
speaking, from Lucifer, than deadly fallacy ? I say generally, because 
I believe he has sometimes spoken truth, to serve his own purpose. 
However, as to the point before us, he should, and would, as & faith- 
ful interpreter, have informed his scholar, distinctly, wherein, that 
" nothingness" consisted, by Cain's bequeathing which to his chil- 
dren he would spare them many tortures. I must then endeavour 
shortly to supply this omission, by referring to a former Note wherein 
I acknowledged man to be nothing compared with, or in opposition 
to, his maker ; but far otherwise than nothing, considering his im- 
mortality, his capacity for happiness, or misery, and his accounta- 
bility as a moral agent. 

CAIN. 

Haughty spirit! 

Thou speak'st it proudly ; but thyself, though proud, 
Hast a superior. 

LUCIFER. 

No ! By heaven, which He 
Holds, and the abyss, and the immensity 
Of worlds, and life, which I hold with him No! 
I have a victor true; but no superior. 
Homage he has from all but none from me; 
I battle it against him, as I battled 



344 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

In highest heaven. Through all eternity, 

And the unfathomable gulphs of Hades, 

And the interminable realms of space, 

And the infinity of endless ages, 

All, all, will I dispute ! And world by world, 

And star by star and universe by universe 

Shall tremble in the balance, till the great 

Conflict shall cease, if ever it shall cease, 

Which it ne'er shall, till he or I be quench'd ! 

And what can quench our immortality, 

Or mutual and irrevocable hate? 

He as a conqueror will call the conquer'd 

Evil ; but what will be the good he gives I 

Were I the victor, his works would be deem'd 

The only evil ones. And you, ye new 

And scarce-born mortals, what have been his gifts 

To you already in your little world ? 

CAIN. 
But few ; and some of those but bitter. 

Note 59. 

Cain's bold intimation to his haughty friend, that he himself 
had a superior, draws from him the above indignant reply, in which 
it must be owned the author has strongly and justly conceived the 
character he was exhibiting. But I cannot forbear thinking, that had 
Cain, or even Lucifer himself, been aware of the consideration given 
in the preceding Note, to the subject of the " two principles," either 
Lucifer would have been at least less confident, or Cain less credu- 
lous. Still, this further ebullition of Luciferian bombast, however 



WITH NOTES. 345 

appropriate to Lucifer, requires a little examination. He first then 
would distinguish between a victor and a superior. Now, as be- 
tween a Marlborough and a Bonaparte, or other similar opponents, 
suppose two pretty equally matched kings of the Saxon heptarchy, 
Lucifer's distinction may, perhaps, be allowed ; because, as we are 
credibly informed, 

" He that fights and runs away, 
May live to fight another day." 

And the contest may therefore be interminable, or much prolonged ; 
and one of such equal parties meanwhile cannot command, or con- 
strain the other. But as between the whole naval force of England, 
and a rebellious sloop of war, (a weak comparison or illustration I 
own, when applied to omnipotence^) in such case, I conceive the dis- 
tinction to be perfectly idle. With respect to his description of his 
past and future battles with heaven, it is of course poetical, and not 
a subject of serious refutation or thought, after the account which, in 
former Notes, has been taken of Lucifer. He confesses however, 
that his victor has homage from all except himself. There are two 
kinds of homage ; one constrained and servile, the other free and vo- 
luntary as we have seen in the seraphs. The latter of course cannot 
be expected from Lucifer ; but the former he cannot withhold ; for 
it is written, that, " at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of 
things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth." 
This compulsive homage Lucifer paid when he told his victor, he 
knew him who he was, the Holy One of God ; and when he prayed 
to be sent into the herd of swine ; and when he asked him if he 
were come to torment them before the time. Tormenting is very 
like " torturing ;" truly Luciferian. The time also is coming when 
Lucifer will pay this involuntary homage in still another manner. He 
admits, nevertheless, that he is to be conquered at last, and then 
gravely tells us (mighty personage as he is) that the conqueror will 
call him evil. And well he may ; for, such (in the sense allowed in 



346 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

these Notes) he is. Then he asks, what he apparently deems a'very 
puzzling question, " but what will be the good he gives ? " We 
will condescend to answer him, by saying, that, besides all the inter- 
mediate good he (that is God) has been giving man since the crea- 
tion of the world, he will, at this happy consummation, in his own 
appointed time, of the final restraint, not destruction, of Lucifer, 
give everlasting peace, and freedom from his molestations; no small 
good that, of itself. Had it been best that it should have occurred 
sooner, it would have been sooner done. If he had been the victor 
he says, and so foru\; that is, if God had not been God, nor Luci- 
fer Lucifer, then there would of course have been all the difference. 
His concluding excitement of Cain's discontent by the question he 
asks, is no less characteristic of himself, than Cain's answer is of 
him. But before we receive Cain's account as to the fewness and 
bitterness of God's gifts, we should hear his father, his mother, his 
brother, and his sisters ; and, from the early parts of these pages, we 
cannot doubt what their evidence would be. What the " bitter" 
gifts were who can tell ? If Cain means the tree of the knowledge 
of good and evil ; that was so far from being a gift, like the all-heal- 
ing tree of life, that it^was expressly excepted from their use. They 
were, most strongly and implicitly, and under the most awful sanction, 
prohibited from eating of its fruit. How then a gift? And as to 
the consequences (fruits) of his parents doing so in violation of their 
maker's sole command, bitter as they may be termed, how could 
Cain, with any justice, charge them upon*him, whose injunctions, if 
obeyed, would have prevented them ? 

As we now draw towards the end of our conversancy with Lu- 
cifer, in his proper person, his parting admonitions to his (too Luci- 
fer-like) companion and pupil, must be attentively ^considered. 

LUCIFER. 

Back 
With me, then, to thine Earth, and try the rest 



WITH NOTES. 347 

Of his celestial boons to ye and yours. 
Evil and good are things in their own essence, 
And not made good or evil by the giver ; 
But if he gives you good so call him ; if 
Evil springs from him, do not name it mine, 
Till ye know better its true fount : and judge 
Not by words, though of spirits, but the fruits 
Of your existence, such as it must be, 
One good gift has the fatal apple given 
Your reason: let it not be over-sway 'd 
By tyrannous threats to force you into faith 
'Gainst all external sense and inward feeling: 
Think and endure, and form an inner world 
In your own bosom where the outward fails ; 
So shall you nearer be the spiritual 
Nature, and war triumphant with your own. 

\They disappear. 



Note 60. 

As to the beginning of this valedictory instruction of Lucifer to 
his listening auditor, viz. on getting back to his Earth, to try the rest 
of " his celestial boons," he means, I suppose, that Cain should as- 
certain, by living longer, whether he should experience more happi- 
ness than he had yet done. But that was not likely or possible with- 
out a change of mind. Or, probably, in his peculiar way, he hinted 
to Cain, he might possibly find some bitterer " gifts" still, than he 
had found hitherto : which, in fact, Lucifer anticipated for him, and 
was not wanting in the promotion of, and the effects of which we 
shall see presently, if indeed, those calamities a man brings upon 
himself, even by yielding to the suggestions of Lucifer, can properly 



348 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

be called God's " gifts." He then assumes the fur again ; or rather 
affects the eloquence which 

" Drops manna, and can make the worse appear 
The better reason, to perplex." 

Let us however follow him and examine, and if we can find any 
place for praise, fairly give it. I do not wish to dispute with Luci- 
fer for disputing's sake. Therefore, although not quite sure of the 
exact correctness of his position that " evil and good are things in 
their own essence," yet as the admission of it can do his principal 
argument, and ultimate aim, no service, nor mine any injury, I shall 
admit it; and so proceed at once to observe, that admitting also that 
evil things or good things are " not made so by the giver" if not so 
in themselves ; yet, in reference to the Almighty, (the vituperation of 
whom is the key to this speech,) he gives, and can give, nothing but 
good, as appears, I hope, throughout these pages. This fact settles 
all metaphysical subtleties therefore at once. God's gifts then are 
only good; therefore, " so we call him." On the other hand, some 
things we believe come, though ultimately as all things must, from 
God ; yet, by divine permission, immediately from Lucifer, and are 
of the nature of and felt as, what we call evil; therefore Lucifer be- 
ing the voluntary donor (or inflicter) of them, we not only " call 
him" evil; but, as such volunteer in the matter, he will assuredly 
have to account for these things in due time, notwithstanding God 
has thus intermediately allowed them, for his own ulterior good pur- 
poses ; so that in feet, in respect of God and man, they are (intrinsic- 
ally) good. The case of Job eminently exemplifies this. God had 
special ends to answer in Job as a moral agent, and also to mankind 
generally ; and therefore allowed Lucifer's voluntary action in it. Yet, 
no thank to Lucifer certainly. His aim was not good but evil ; there- 
fore, " so call him." As to evil springing from God, we have seen, 
and know it cannot ; nothing but essential good can spring from 
him. But not so in regard of Lucifer, as we have seen, so far as his 



WITH NOTES. 349 

intention is concerned. As for the " true fount" of all things, we 
have seen, and well know, where, and what it is : and to whom we 
ascribe good ; and to whom evil, in point of responsibility. He then 
bids Cain " judge, not by words, though of spirits, but the fruits of 
his existence, such as it must be." If by this he mean to recom- 
mend to Cain and to man, to look only at what he terms the evils (the 
" fruits") of his existence, and so continue discontented, and rebel- 
lious against his maker, as their author, and to draw his inferences 
accordingly ; and to believe no revelation from Heaven, however au- 
thenticated by rational evidence ; that is very good advice certainly 
for Lucifer to give in furtherance of his own kingdom, and to multi- 
ply its subjects ; but such advice, as no considerate mortal will choose 
to follow. With respect to Lucifer's calling human reason a gift of 
the fatal apple ; what can be more absurd ? As if reason did not 
form an essential part of man's first nature ? The gift which man 
received from the " fatal apple" was, a terrible perversion of that 
reason. The reason man had at his creation, the gift of his creator, 
bade him reverence his creator, and regard his injunctions. The 
dictates of that reason, however, man chose to slight, in complai- 
sance to his will, and his inferior nature. The consequence was 
transgression; which transgression produced that altered nature, 
which immoral acts have ever a tendency to generate. Part of that 
altered nature consisted in the deterioration of man's reason in every 
respect for which that reason was given him. The effects of that 
deterioration have been operating ever since, in the alienation of man 
from his maker, and other calamities ; and have only been at length 
removed by the revelation, (so far as embraced by man) of which 
so frequent mention has been made. 

By recommending Cain not to let his reason (such as it was in 
him, or has been since in man) be overswayed by " tyrannous threats" 
to force him into faith against all external sense and inward feeling ; 
I apprehend Lucifer, though prospectively of course, means to guard, 
not Cain, so much as mankind generally, against the Christian reve- 
lation before considered, which makes so specially against himself. 



350 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

But he is very unfortunate in designating the truths of that revelation 
by the term " tyrannous threats," because he cannot possibly estab- 
lish his charge ; since those truths are of a directly contrary nature, and 
the revelation itself is precisely opposite to tyranny or threatening. 
It is a message of peace and mercy from the benignant creator to his 
revolted and depraved creature man, in his lost and wretched state, 
informing him in what way (a way most easy and beneficent) he may 
become reconciled to his offended maker, and be fully restored to 
his friendship, and favour, both in this life, and in that which comes. 
With these " glad tidings of great joy," as myriads of the intelligent 
of mankind have found them to be, (most honourable to the divine 
justice, holiness, and goodness, nor yet any way derogatory to the 
true dignity of man,) there is doubtless connected, as in reason there 
should be in all such cases, an explicit declaration of the awful con- 
sequences to man, should he reject this reconciliation with his maker. 
This part of the message I suppose it must be, which Lucifer intends 
by denominating it " tyrannous threats." But the divine nature has 
been seen to be diametrically opposite to a tyrant's character. This 
ascription of tyranny, and threatening, is evidently applied by Luci- 
fer to create an odium in the mind of man against the whole revela- 
tion, lest man, by accepting it, should be translated out of the 
thraldom of his own kingdom of tyranny, darkness, and misery, 
into that of the Messiah, and so be changed from an heir of 
Hell to an heir of glory. But could we suppose, that Lucifer, in 
this place, was personating man, and speaking as some individual 
of mankind, and expressing his hostile feelings in that character, 
against the revelation in question it should then seem, that like 
Lucifer himself, (but unlike Socrates, who anticipated such revelation 
and such a Saviour,) such individual adopts the same distorted senti- 
ments ; and from his objection to any medium of acceptance with 
his maker, beyond his own merits, or God's supposed general and 
necessary mercy, deems that to be tyrannous threatening which is 
only a beneficent announcement of the natural and inevitable conse- 
quence of rejecting such medium of reconciliation. Yet, with this 



WITH NOTES. 351 

gracious arrangement, (God himself in Christ, by his death, reconcil- 
ing his guilty creature to himself,) man does actually choose, at least 
many do, to be offended, and to disdain and refuse it ; calling it, 
with Lucifer, " a forcing into faith ;" " a conditional creed to save 
them ;" " tyrannous threats ;" and what not beside ? and so, spurns 
his God (offering to be his Saviour also) from him. All which, 
though at the instigation of Lucifer, working upon man's natural 
character, and intended to procure man's eternal ruin with his own ; 
[" spirits and men, we sympathize ; that by the unbounded sym- 
pathy of all, our pangs may be made more endurable ;" ] yet, 
man concurs, thus, in his own destruction ; preferring with Lucifer, 
their pride, and self-importance, and a Luciferian " independency of 
torture," before such salvation. Another view may be taken of this 
matter, to shew that the Gospel, or revelation in question, contains in 
it nothing of the nature of tyrannous threatening, but consists of the 
purest and most astonishing benevolence. For as man fell by pride 
and confidence in deliberately following his own inclination in dis- 
obeying his creator, and thus exercising, to his own destruction, his 
free will in which he seemed to glory ; and possibly thought himself 
sufficient master of his own actions to justify his neglect of God's 
will and express command ; therefore to eradicate from man that dis- 
position to such pride, or, as scripture expresses it, " to hide pride 
from man ;" we are assured, that the salvation we are considering was 
wholly gratuitous on the part of Jehovah, so far as man is concerned 
in point of merit or deserving ; though on the part of Jehovah him- 
self, in the person of the Son in the human nature of Jesus Christ, it 
was far other than gratuitous. That divine person of the Godhead 
paid for it a "price" (1 Cor. vi. 20) exceeding all human computa- 
tion or conception : and the scriptures also declare that " the redemp- 
tion of the soul is precious ;" and speak of the precious blood of 
Christ, (which, if he were mere man, it could not be in any peculiar 
sense,) which price consisted in the sufferings which Jehovah, the 
Redeemer, in the human nature of Christ assumed by him, encoun- 
tered and endured in the course of his fulfilment of his own law, in 



352 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

the place of, and for man ; thus truly magnifying his law and mak- 
ing it honourable, as predicted by the prophet four hundred years 
before ; and also the death which he, as man, submitted to in accom- 
plishment of the divine denunciation, that man should die. 

If this do not " hide pride from man," what can ? This vi- 
carious obedience and death therefore, of Jesus Christ, constitutes that 
amazing but all-gracious method, or plan, plainly declared in scrip- 
ture, by which it has pleased Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, 
to restore and save innumerable multitudes of the lost human 
race ; God, as Father, in his eternal love and goodness, appointing 
and " giving them" to the Son, to redeem ; God, as the Son, accept- 
ing and undertaking that work ; God, as the Eternal Spirit, engaging 
to lead them to the Saviour, and to regenerate the subjects of such 
redemption. How can this not be acknowledged a sublime economy, 
and most consolatory to man, because secure ? How different from 
tyrannous threatening, or. forced faith, is this ! What hinders us 
from a spontaneous and glad acceptance of such an arrangement, 
and from earnestly desiring to form part of the ransomed " multi- 
tude whom no man can number"? This is what the scriptures 
plainly describe as the " everlasting (or eternal) covenant, ordered in 
all things, and sure." The divine nature, in its three-fold character, is 
thus pledged that the redeemed shall never fall (finally) from their 
maker. They may fall into sin or error in this life, but they will 
rise again. [They will not live in voluntary, and known, and gross 
sin, nor in injustice to their fellow creatures. Those who do so are 
not to be credited for a pretended participation of these mercies.] 
They are denominated " the Church of God which he hath purchased 
with his own Blood." Here the Blood of God is recognized as the 
purchase-price of the redeemed. And yet it was the " Blood of 
Christ" How can that be, unless Christ and God are identically 
and essentially one, notwithstanding the assumption of the human 
nature, for this purpose, by Jehovah the Son ? Of these also the 
Redeemer says, " they shall never perish, neither be plucked out of 
my hand, nor out of my Father's hand;" and it is his declared 



WITH NOTES. 353 

" will," that they shall ultimately " be with him where he is, to behold 
his glory." How can man object to this ? These multitudes, thus 
redeemed out of every tongue and nation, are those who evidence 
their being thus included in this cheering covenant by their " coin- 
ing" to Christ, by faith in him, for that life and salvation, and by 
" receiving" him as their Redeemer, and subsequently by regarding 
his precepts under the influence of the Spirit. What system can be 
so satisfactory to the human mind; at least to those who regard their 
immortality, and do not object to that spirituality of mind, and su- 
periority over (not undue neglect of) the things of time and sense, 
which is both essential and preparatory to future happiness, in their 
future and ultimate state of being ? 

As Lucifer however has taken upon him to speak of what he 
terms a forcing into faith " let it not (viz. your reason) be o'er- 
swayed by tyrannous threats to force you into faith," and so forth, 
I may be allowed perhaps a few more words in annotation on that 
point. In the first place then, is not the expression, u force you in- 
to faith," a contradiction ? Might not Lucifer with equal propriety 
talk of forced volition, or forced free will, as forced faith ? For is not 
faith in its very nature a spontaneous act or disposition of the mind, 
producing a willing reliance upon the object of that faith, and arising 
from a rational conviction of its truth ? A pretence of faith then there 
may be, from compulsive force or other motives ; but pretence is not 
the thing pretended ; therefore such pretence to faith is no faith at all. 
Real faith then cannot be, and is not, the subject of force. In the next 
place, there are those who assert that faith (I mean such faith as Lucifer 
is here reprobating, viz. faith in Christ as a Saviour) is a divine dona- 
tion or gift. And is a donation or gift generally understood to be a 
subject of coercion 1 That such faith is a divine gift, how can we deny, 
until we set aside revelation ; which declares " by grace (or favour) 
are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves ; the gift of God, 
not of works, lest any man should boast"? If therefore God bestow 
this faith upon any man, how can it be reasonably said to be forced 
upon him ? For in another place, the apostle declares " all men have 



354 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

not faith." This we know by experience, because many disclaim it, and 
prefer trusting in their own works of righteousness. Such being the 
case, I am aware that Lucifer may retort if your boasted faith 
be a gift of God, and if all men have not faith, does not that prove 
that God gives faith to some only of his creatures, not to all ? and 
if so, how can God justly condemn any man who has not faith in 
Christ ? In reply to any individual asking those questions, I must 
ask him three questions, his answer to which will afford a reply to 
his enquiries. The first would be : do you know that God has de- 
termined never to give you the faith we are considering ? The second 
is : are you desirous of that faith ; or do you dislike and reject it? 
The third is: have you asked God to bestow it on you in the way 
scripture points out, viz. " in the name of, and for the sake of Jesus 
Christ" ? I am certain the first of these three questions must be 
answered in the negative ; which leaves at least an open door for the 
acquisition of this faith. If the second question be answered by say- 
ing, that this faith is in truth disliked and rejected by the enquirer; 
that shuts the door, for any thing I can see. How can he expect to 
receive, as a gift, what his mind revolts against ? But if he desire 
it, I apprehend that to be an indication that he will obtain it ; be- 
cause that desire, if sincere, is, on scripture grounds, to be considered 
a preparatory gift of God, and the forerunner of the gift of faith, if 
followed (as sincere desires always are where opportunity is afforded) 
by requests for the donation. And there are abundant scripture ex- 
hortations to pray for faith and other mercies, and innumberable pro- 
mises of such prayers being granted. But if my third question be 
answered, by saying, that the enquirer has never asked faith of God, 
and never will, or is careless about the matter ; I must leave him in 
that chosen state of mind. God will deal with him as he sees fit. 
But his word affords him no happy prospect. The matter is be- 
tween that soul and its maker. God cannot do wrong. But man's 
mouth is shut. His conscience will condemn him. 

Such is the interpretation, which, alone, appears to me to be the 
true one, of these " tyrannous threats," this " forced faith," and 



WITH NOTES. 355 

" conditional creed," as opposed to " all external sense and inward 
feeling ;" whereas, in the Christian revelation, in its purity, uncon- 
taminated by the arts of wicked men, and as represented in the reve- 
lation itself; there is nothing which revolts against " external sense 
and inward feeling" any farther than a man wishing to be moral and 
good (good, not absolutely, but in the usual sense) and to be made 
superior to the moral ills of his inferior nature, would gladly choose. 
That in this revelation there are things which man's finite mind 
cannot comprehend, is no contradiction to the last assertion. To be 
beyond reason, and against reason, are quite different predicaments. 

But, it is scarcely doing justice or giving his due, even to Lucifer 
himself, to omit one view in which, it is perhaps possible, he meant to 
apply the terms we have been considering. And if he did so, we 
heartily join him. He perhaps had the power given him of fore- 
knowing not only the tyrannous threats, but the infernal inflictions, 
which his own wicked agents would in after times, subsequent to the 
Christian aera, practise upon their fellow men, persecuting, burning, 
torturing them, for not believing, and submitting to, all those mons- 
trous, idolatrous, and absurd, contradictions to " all external sense 
and inward feeling," which, for impious lucre, and wicked infernal 
sway, they would impose upon them. The objection to this being 
Lucifer's meaning is, that it would be to obloquiia his own servants, 
and instruments. Yet we have seen, he is not incapable of speaking 
truths which make against himself; so possibly here. But I am not 
sure ; yet I thought it but just and right not to omit this apparent 
possibility in his favour. 

Having thus endeavoured fairly to develope Lucifer's meaning, 
(whatever it was ; for it is seldom perhaps quite easy to hit it,) re- 
specting his alleged, or insinuated, tyrannous threats, and so forth 
we now proceed to his concluding advice ; than which, if rightly 
viewed, it appears to me, no wise and affectionate Polonius could 
have given better to his darling Laertes. For what can be more im- 
portant or valuable to man, than, under the guidance of his maker's 
word and Spirit, and the revelation we have considered, to " think 

A A 2 



356 CAIN, A MYSTERY, ETC. 

and endure, and form an inner world in his own bosom, where the 
outward fails ;" as fail it must and will : so as to secure a peace which 
the outward world can neither give nor take away ? This also is the 
road to that approximation to man's " spiritual nature" which is his 
highest good, and the acquisition of which will, as Lucifer (if he 
meant that) most justly says, enable man to war triumphantly with 
his own inferior and earthly nature ; which, though not destroyed till 
death, yet if not kept in due subjection, will hold him in captivity to 
the end of life, and throughout eternity. Should it be said, that this is 
not Lucifer's meaning, nor the " spiritual nature" to which he al- 
luded ; but that the spiritual nature he meant is that which he taught 
Cain he should acquire in his future state among the phantoms, and 
which would lead him to an eternal enmity with his maker ; I reply 
it may be, and I almost fear, is so. But I must also maintain, that 
such last-mentioned spiritual nature, if such was Lucifer's intention, 
is wholly chimerical, and not to be found in those authenticated re- 
cords which give the only true account of all spirituality, whether 
divine, angelic, or human. 



ACT III. SCENE I. 

The Earth, near Eden, as in Act I. 

Enter CAIN and ADAH. 

ADAH. 

Hush ! tread softly, Cain. 

CAIN. 

I will ; but wherefore \ 

ADAH. 

Our little Enoch sleeps upon yon bed 
Of leaves, beneath the cypress. 

CAIN. 

Cypress ! 't is 

A gloomy tree, which looks as if it mourn'd 
O'er what it shadows; wherefore didst thou choose it 
For our child's canopy 1 ? 



358 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



ADAH. 

Because its branches 

Shut out the sun like night, and therefore seera'd 
Fitting to shadow slumber. 

CAIN. 

Ay, the last 
And longest ; but no matter lead me to him. 

\They go up to the child. 
How lovely he appears ! his little cheeks, 
In their pure incarnation, vying with 
The rose leaves strewn beneath them. 

ADAH. 

And his lips, too, 

How beautifully parted ! No ; you shall not 
Kiss him, at least not now : he will awake soon 
His hour of mid-day rest is nearly over ; 
But it were pity to disturb him till 
'T is closed. ^ 

CAIN. 

You have said well ; I will contain 
My heart till then. He smiles and sleeps! Sleep on 
And smile, thou little, young inheritor 
Of a world scarce less young : sleep on, and smile ! 
Thine are the hours and days when both are cheering 
And innocent! thou hast not pluck'd the fruit 



WITH NOTES. 359 

Thou know'st not thou art naked ! Must the time 
Come thou shalt be amerced for sins unknown, 
Which were not thine nor mine! But now sleep on! 
His cheeks are reddening into deeper smiles. 
And shining lids are trembling o'er his long 
Lashes, dark as the cypress which waves o'er them ; 
Half open, from beneath them the clear blue 
Laughs out, although in slumber. He must dream 
Of what 1 Of Paradise ! Ay ! dream of it, 
My disinherited boy ! 'T is but a dream ; 
For never more thyself, thy sons, nor fathers, 
Shall walk in that forbidden place of joy! 

ADAH. 

Dear Cain ! Nay, do not whisper o'er our son 
Such melancholy yearnings o'er the past : 
Why wilt thou always mourn for Paradise 3 
Can we not make another 1 ? 

CAIN. 

Where ? 

ADAH. 

Here, or 

Where'er thou wilt: where'er thou art, I feel not 
The want of this so much regretted Eden. 
Have I not thee, our boy, our sire, and brother, 
And Zillah our sweet sister, and our Eve, 
To whom we owe so much besides our birth I 



360 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

Yes death, too, is amongst the debts we owe her. 



Cain ! that proud spirit, who withdrew thee hence, 
Hath sadden'd thine still deeper. I had hoped 
The promis'd wonders which thou hast beheld, , 
Visions, thou say'st, of past and present worlds, 
Would have composed thy mind into the calm 
Of a contented knowledge ; but I see 
Thy guide hath done thee evil : still I thank him, 
And can forgive him all, that he so soon 
Hath given thee back to us. 

CAIN. 

So soon 1 

ADAH. 

'T is scarcely 

Two hours since ye departed : two long hours 
To me, but only hours upon the sun. 

CAIN. 

And yet I have approach'd that sun, and seen 
Worlds which he once shone on, and never more 
Shall light ; and worlds he never lit : methought 
Years had roll'd o'er my absence. 



WITH NOTES. 361 

ADAH. 

Hardly hours. 

CAIN. 

The mind then hath capacity of time, 

Aud measures it by that which it beholds, 

Pleasing, or painful ; little or almighty. 

I had beheld the immemorial works 

Of endless beings ; skirr'd extinguish'd worlds ; 

And, gazing on eternity, methought 

I had borrow'd more by a few drops of ages 

From its immensity ; but now I feel 

My littleness again. Well said the spirit, 

That I was nothing ! 

ADAH. 

Wherefore said he so ? 
Jehovah said not that. 

CAIN. 

No : he contents him 

With making us the nothing which we are ; 
And after flattering dust with glimpses of 
Eden and immortality, resolves 
It back to dust again for what! 

ADAH. 

Thou know'st 
Even for our parents' error. 



362 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

CAIN. 

What is that 
To us 1 they sinn'd, then let them die ! 

ADAH. 

Thou hast not spoken well, nor is that thought 
Thy own, but of the spirit who was with thee. 
Would / could die for them, so they might live! 

CAIN. 

Why, so say I provided that one victim 

Might satiate the insatiable of life, 

And that our little rosy sleeper there 

Might never taste of death nor human sorrow, 

Nor hand it down to those who spring from him. 

Note 61. 

On Cain's arrival back to Earth, and meeting immediately, as 
was agreed on, with Adah, it must be confessed, that with all his 
lamentable faults and errors, he does not seem to add that of a want 
of parental tenderness. As to his alluding to his child's last and 
longest slumber, that was perfectly agreeable to his usual train of dis- 
mal thoughts. He of course meant death, the great object of his dis- 
like, if not of terror. Assuredly, death is, to all, so far as respects 
the animal or corporeal part of man, the last and longest slumber : 
but uot so as to his immortal part, as has been before noticed. With 
regard to Cain's asking of his sleeping boy, " must the time come 
when thou must be amerced for sins unknown, which were not thine 
nor mine?" it is answered, certainly not: for although this little 



WITH NOTES. 363 

Enoch, and that other Enoch who " walked with God, and was not, 
for God took him," and all the race of mankind, partake of the temp- 
oral effects of Adam's transgression, and are in fact sinful, deriva- 
tively from their first parent ; yet not one that ever breathed, or does, 
or shall breathe, has been, or will be "amerced;" that is, suffer exclu- 
sion from his maker's favour eternally, and lose the happiness of hea- 
ven, and incur the pains of hell, but for his own personal and wilful 
sin and wickedness, of which his own conscience will accuse him ; 
which he would have escaped by not neglecting or refusing the am- 
ple remedy contained in the revelation before mentioned. Cain is 
again wrong in terming his boy "disinherited;" at least, in any 
odious sense as applied to the creator. How was he disinherited of 
that which his father never had ? And how could his father be dis- 
inherited of what his father had lost before Cain was born ? Besides, 
disinheriting is an act done against an individual. But God never 
did an act against either Cain or his boy. Much better had Cain, 
just before, called his boy " thou little, young inheritor of a world 
scarce less young ;" for so his father, Adam himself, termed it ; 
" the young earth yields kindly to us her fruits with little labour :" 
and ought not Cain then rather to have exulted in what his boy 
inherited, than to complain, unjustly, of his being disinherited, which 
he was not ? It must not, however, be forgotten, that man is im- 
mensely benefited by that dishersion, if such it may be called, of 
Adam, as has been seen heretofore. His perpetual and unreasonable 
lamentations over Paradise, " that forbidden place of joy," savours 
of froward puerility, especially considering the many mercies, with 
which he was surrounded. For this, Adah will mildly reprove him 
presently. But this only shews the author's accuracy : for do not 
such characters still exist? This seems also to have been Lord 
Byron's individual judgment, by making Adah reply with so much 
good sense to Cain, in adverting to the power God had given them, 
even of making another Paradise ; (of which, even in this climate, 
and at this day, the earth is not wholly incapable ;) and especially 
considering that happiness could not so much depend upon place as 



364 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

upon society ; and which she particularly insists upon. Still, when 
Adah included her hapless mother in her enumeration of the " chari- 
ties," it awoke in Cain all his antipathies to death, which therefore 
he again places to his mother's account. At every step, we see the 
author's aim to correct this unreasonable Cain; thus he does in 
Adah's remonstrance with Cain, and her sharp animadversions upon 
" that proud spirit who withdrew him thence," and to whom she attri- 
butes the evil impressions upon Cain's mind. A pretty clear inti- 
mation, by the way, of Lord Byron's persuasion, that evil spirits are 
not unconversant with man, nor neglectful of inflicting upon him all 
the misery they may be permitted to inflict. Hence the peculiar fit- 
ness of that petition " deliver us from evil," (or the evil one,) as before 
referred to, which, sincerely presented, we cannot reasonably doubt 
of being effectually granted. With respect to Cain's ideas of the 
time which he thought must have elapsed, during his flight among 
so many, and some of them not, at this time of day, very credible, 
wonders, that is probably correct ; as well as that time is, as he says, 
measured in the human mind, or perhaps the notion of tune created, 
in the human mind, by its observation of " that which it beholds, 
pleasing or painful; or little : " but what he means by "almighty," 
I hardly can conceive, unless he alluded to his having beheld " the 
immemorial works of endless ages," and " gazed on eternity." These 
things he probably deemed in some sense almighty ; though, I think, 
hyper bolically ; or, if he meant to ascribe self-existence and self- 
creation to them, that is merely atheistical of course. Nor can we 
but exceedingly approve the answer which Lord Byron has made 
Adah give to Cain, who lamented again his "littleness," and no- 
ticed Lucifer's correctness in telling him he was " nothing." She 
says, " wherefore said he so ? Jehovah said not that." This cor- 
responds, I think, in substance, with a preceding Note, in which we 
distinguished between man's nothingness, as compared with his 
creator, which is true ; and as exempting him from moral responsi- 
bility, or from the capacity of immortal misery or happiness ; in 
which sense, man is not only not nothing, but he is of great conside- 



WITH NOTES. 365 

ration. In consistency with his general plan, Lord Byron confined 
all Cain's sentiments to the views generally derived from the Old 
Testament only : Cain therefore, so far, is less to be censured for his 
notion of God's contenting himself with making man the " nothing" 
Cain said he was ; and, after " flattering him with immortality" 
from the tree of life, yet resolving him back to dust again. But 
why the Almighty did so, has been seen. He had declared to man, 
that if he violated his (easy) prohibition, he should die. Was that 
flattery? Can it be expected that God, who is truth itself, and "can- 
not lie," should not perform what he had said ? But, his mercy be- 
ing equal to his truth, he has, as has been intimated before, provided 
a way for at once vindicating his truth, and securing to man, not in- 
deed his first promised, and conditional, immortality, but an im- 
mortality infinitely superior in nature, as well as unconditional, and 
secure in its duration. It never can again be forfeited, or lost by 
those who accept, or "receive" it. When Cain also, asks, for 
what was this original immortality lost, Adah most properly assigns 
the cause; on which Cain, as he had done before, so consistent is his 
character, again expresses his own displeasure, that his parents alone 
had not, personally, suffered death for their own " error." This calls 
forth a very beautiful and animated exclamation from Adah, which 
every generous mind must admire, expressly avowing her readiness 
to substitute even her own life, for her parents'. Cain, too, seems 
now to catch her amiable spirit. He declares his willingness to 
yield up his own existence, if one victim might satiate " the insatia- 
ble of life." This expression requires a little consideration. Did 
Cain, by the term " insatiable of life," mean merely death ? If he 
did, his expression, we all know is not amiss. He is insatiable, al- 
though his insatiateness will be destroyed, and in the mean time does 
more good infinitely than harm, to all who " receive him" who has 
taken away his "sting." But, if Cain meant, as I fear he did, most 
unreasonably, as well as most impiously, to throw that stigma (insa- 
tiate of life) upon his maker, we can only say, that his horrible im- 
piety is in good keeping with his whole character. For, so far is 



366 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

God from being thus insatiable, that, in order to restore and secure 
life, (instead of destroying it,) to his Mien, and lost creatures, he has 
designed and executed the amazing plan, which both Adah and Cain 
advert to presently, and which has recently been mentioned. With 
respect to Cain's wish to redeem his "little rosy sleeper there" from 
the sorrows he so much, however unfoundedly, complains of, we 
give him all the credit we can for it. 



ADAH. 

How know we that some such atonement one day 
May not redeem our race? 

CAIN. 

By sacrificing 

The harmless for the guilty ? what atonement 
Were there] why, we are innocent: what have we 
Done, that we must be victims for a deed 
Before our birth, or need have victims to 
Atone for this mysterious, nameless sin 
If it be such a sin to seek for knowledge ? 

Note 62. 

It has been before remarked, that although Lord Byron in his 
preface, professes to confine himself to the Old Testament, which in 
general he does, yet he has in some instances referred to the New. 
And here is an eminent instance of it, and affords the occasion before 
adverted to, on which Adah glances at the plan by which the all-wise 
and all-good Jehovah has provided for his fallen creature man an in- 
finitely better life than he could have had in a Paradisiacal state, had 
he never fallen. Thus it is, as perhaps may be said, nearly in Adam's 



WITH NOTES. 367 

words, God has, indeed, caused good to spring out of evil, in the 
highest sense, and in the highest degree. Yet it is agreeable neither 
to revelation nor to reason, to imagine for a moment, that the fall of 
man came unawares upon the Almighty, and that he was driven to 
some expedient to remedy that calamity. Scripture passages are too 
numerous and well known, as well as the nature of deity, to admit 
of our hesitating to feel the utmost assurance that the fall, and its 
superior remedy, was and must have been in the contemplation and 
counsel of God from everlasting ; for all things are present with him 
in one eternal and uninterrupted view. To man, events must be 
divided, and distributed in succession, or he never could comprehend 
them; for his capacity, and his intellect, are finite: but that does 
not apply to the infinite Jehovah, to whom nothing can be unexpect- 
ed, nothing confused, nothing uncertain, nothing difficult. But these 
views, and this ascription of eternal, immutable purpose in the Al- 
mighty, do not remove from Lucifer, or from man, their respective 
responsibilities for voluntary crime, and sin. They are each consci- 
ous of voluntary moral evil, and of voluntary neglect of, and oppo- 
sition to, their creator, and his just and no less merciful, require- 
ments : Cain had just expressed his willingness that either Adah 
or himself should die for their parents, provided that one victim 
might suffice. Now the atonement to which Adah immedi- 
ately thereupon alludes, does consist of one victim only. She says 
"how know we but that some such atonement (viz. of one victim) 
one day may not redeem our race ? " This cheering apprehension 
she must have derived from her parents ; who, in recounting their fall, 
would relate also the promise which accompanied their judgment, 
viz. that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. 
This promise we have seen would have been of little or no meaning 
if not allusive to the destruction of Lucifer, and his works of sin and 
death, by that future, though then distant, undertaking of their creator 
himself " manifest in the flesh." Such was the divine economy, 
counsel, and covenant of mercy, from eternity, for giving unto all, 
who should receive the " atonement," a better than Paradisiacal life. 



368 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

God's law had been broken. Man could not retrieve his error. Even 
future obedience could not remedy the past transgression. The 
divine word was passed, that man should die. What moral governor 
would God be, not to have executed his own sanction ? Jehovah 
himself therefore, (to save multitudes of the lost human race from 
death eternal,) in the person of the son, and in the assumed nature of 
man, undertook the task, otherwise impracticable, of both perfectly 
keeping his own law, and of undergoing, in man's stead, the death 
denounced upon him. Thus shewing to man the only ground upon 
which (and not upon his own obedience) he could securely stand. 
Thus did Jesus Christ "give his life a ransom for many, the just for 
the unjust, that he might bring them to God." Is it not astonishing, 
that a human being should be found, to object to such an amazing 
plan of divine beneficence ? Yet some among the lost race do object ; 
and, with Cain, abhor a salvation which, not being procured by 
themselves, they imagine " humbles" them ! Humbles them, before 
their maker ! 

Analogy to human practice between earthly sovereigns and their 
subjects, as well as reason, requires our assenting to the proposition, 
that an offence against an infinite being requires an infinite atone- 
ment. Must not offence, generally speaking, partake of the character 
of the offended ? An infinite satisfaction or atonement, how could a 
finite being yield ? God therefore, in the greatness of his mercy, 
became a substitute for his creature, and made himself an atonement 
to himself! Infinite to infinite ! This had been impossible but for 
his infinite goodness. Astonishing must be the nature of sin to 
render such proceeding necessary. Thus however, in divine wis- 
dom, was the divine law " honoured, magnified, and established ;" 
the divine word kept, that man should die ; and yet man saved ! 
Of what then has man to complain ? Cain however, although he 
seemed recently to acquiesce in one victim being found to atone, yet 
now, when Adah has thus discovered that one victim, forthwith turns 
round and finds fault with the principles upon which that one victim 
is provided. We seem to hear him reply to Adah's grateful recol- 



WITH NOTES. 369 

lection of her parental lessons, by pronouncing his objection, that the 
" harmless for the guilty" should suffer as the victim ! Those who 
are determined to find fault, are never at a loss for occasion ; because, 
where there is no just one, they make one to suit their purpose. But, 
in the first place, should we not think it rather curious in a con- 
demned traitor, or criminal among men, when offered a pardon, 
instead of straightway and joyfully accepting it, to be found prying 
into his sovereign's inducement for thus exercising his unsolicited and 
sovereign mercy ? Or, should such traitor or criminal learn that an 
individual, free from crime, had kindly devoted himself to receive 
the traitor's punishment in his stead, on a previous arrangement satis- 
factory to the sovereign himself; is it to be expected, that this traitor 
or criminal would quarrel with his life on account of the mode in 
which it was so preserved ? And calumniate his sovereign beside ? 
Was such an instance ever known? But Cain then asks "what 
atonement were there ?" Does so silly a question deserve a serious 
answer ? A condemned traitor or criminal question the sufficiency 
of the satisfaction his sovereign himself accepted ! Who ever heard 
of such a thing ? Can any thing be conceived more absurd, more 
incredibly contrary to all human conduct? Is the criminal the 
judge of the atonement, and not rather the favoured object and reci- 
pient of it? Was the atonement his concern? What should we 
judge of such conduct among mortals, but that it resulted from in- 
sanity ? That certainly would be the most charitable, if not most 
just construction. Any other way of accounting for such conduct 
would imply the saddest moral character in the individual. How 
much more strongly does this apply as between man and his creator. 
In making Cain thus criminate his maker for providing a 
"harmless" victim, the "harmless for the guilty," it should 
seem that Lord Byron had in view the very declaration of scripture 
itself, where, speaking of Christ, it says, " wherefore he is able to save 
them to the uttermost who come unto God by him, seeing he ever 
liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest be- 
came (or was suited to) us, who is holy, 'HARMLESS,' undefiled, 

B B 



370 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

separate from sinners." This is a scripture proof of the fact. Of 
the astonishing irrationality of any human being quarrelling with 
that fact, a little consideration has been offered just above. 

Cain, now, however, skips to another objection to their being 
thus pardoned and saved ; an objection, I confess, which, if well 
founded, will do away completely with all sin, all offence, all trans- 
gression, and the necessity of all atonement and redemption at a 
breath. "Why, we are innocent: what have we done?" and 
so forth. I have not been criminating Adah for any great faults ; 
but, as for this expostulator himself, has he not been convicted of 
pride and rebellion, to go no farther ? Adah was, apparently, of a 
generally amiable disposition. Yet even she had shewn that the fall 
of her parents had infected her nature also as it must necessarily 
have done that of all mankind. If she had, or if others have, great 
complacency and affection towards their fellow creatures, yet have 
they loved their creator with all their hearts ? Who of all mankind 
will dare to arrogate so much to themselves ? But a defect in that 
alone, (leaving their innumerable other actual sins out of the ques- 
tion,) condemns the whole posterity of Adam. The word of God is 
full of this. And if there be any force in the reasoning of Plato 
and others, reason confirms the duty, and the appropriateness, of 
man's first, and principal regards being given to the source of all 
excellence and goodness his creator. And so Adah declares in her 
address to God in the earlier part of these pages. What then be- 
comes of Cain's silly " why, we are innocent" J Besides, mankind 
are not as Cain falsely says, " victims" at all : Christ is the only 
"victim." Nor are mankind eternally even punished, for Adam's 
sin, but for their own ; such as Cain's, among the rest. Neither do 
mankind " atone" for even their own actual sin : Christ alone 
atones for them. As to his calling it " this mysterious nameless sin," 
sin is not at all mysterious. It is simply the transgression of 
God's law, through pride, unbelief, rebellion, ingratitude, and other 
irrational, or worse than bestial, iniquities, nor is sin " nameless." 
It has many names ; like Lucifer's, its collective name is " Legion." 



WITH NOTES. 371 

He then adds : "if it be such a sin to seek for knowledge." How 
puerile is that ? As if a servant, or a child, in the teeth of the mas- 
ter's or parent's prohibition, should think himself justified, by saying 
" if it be such a sin to do, what I am enjoined not to do ; " suppose 
to open a chest, (which was prohibited to be opened,) to gratify curi- 
osity ! But who will justify that ? Especially if the injunction was 
accompanied by a declaration that death should be the consequence 
of transgression. 

ADAH. 

Alas ! thou sinuest now, my Cain ; thy words 
Sound impious in mine cars. 

CAIN. 

Then leave me! 



ADAH. 

Never, 



Though thy God left thee. 

CAIN. 

Say, what have we here 1 ? 

ADAH. 

Two altars, which our brother Abel made 
During thine absence, whereupon to offer 
A sacrifice to God on thy return. 

CAIN. 

And how knew he^ that / would be so ready 
With the burnt offerings) which he daily brings 

B B 2 



372 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

With a meek brow, whose base humility 
Shews more of fear than worship, as a bribe 
To the Creator 1 ? 



ADAH. 

Surely 't is well done. 

CAIN. 
One altar may suffice ; / have no offering. 

ADAH. 

The fruits of the earth, the early, beautiful 
Blossom and bud, and bloom of flow'rs and fruits : 
These are a goodly offering to the Lord, 
Given with a gentle and a contrite spirit. 

CAIN. 

I have toil'd, and till'd, and sweaten in the sun 
According to the curse: must I do more'? 
For what should I be gentle 1 for a war 
With all the elements ere they will yield 
The bread we eat? For what must I be grateful 1 ? 
For being dust, and grovelling in the dust, 
Till I return to dust 1 ? If I am nothing 
For nothing shall I be an hypocrite, 
And seem well-pleased with pain "? For what should I 
Be contrite 1 for my father's sin, already 
Expiate with what we all have undergone, 
And to be more than expiated by 



WITH NOTES. 373 

The ages prophesied, upon our seed? 

Little deems our young sleeper, there, 

The germ of an eternal misery 

To myriads is within him ! better 't were 

I snatch'd him in his sleep, and dash'd him 'gainst 

The rocks, than let him live to 

ADAH. 

Oh, my God ! 
Touch not the child my child ! thy child ! Oh Cain ! 

CAIN. 

Fear not ! for all the stars, and all the power 
Which sways them, I would not accost yon infant 
With ruder greeting than a father's kiss. 

Note 63. 

Adah, just above, confirms what is lately asserted, that Cain 
need not refer to his ancestor to find sin which he himself personally 
committed. For if to arraign the conduct of the Almighty, and 
revile his utmost goodness and mercy, be not sin, what is ? Cain's 
rough bidding to Adah to leave him, since she thought him a sinner, 
is answered by her in a way which I suppose will be unadmired by 
few, if by any. With respect to Cain's expressions in reference to 
his brother, to whom he attributes a " meek brow, base humility, 
more fear than worship," and all as a " bribe to his creator," a few 
observations must be made. As to the meekness of Abel's brow, 
and his base humility, little need be said. Who will join Cain in 
taunting Abel for his meekness, or in terming his humility towards 
his maker base ? Pity there is not more of both among men ! And 
how much better had it been for Cain to have partaken of the same 



374 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

dispositions ! But what still stranger speech to talk of the possibility 
of bribing God ! Of bribing the power by whom all tilings subsist, 
and who could destroy all things by his fiat, as he created them ! If 
Cain believed, and could have shewn, that Abel was a dissembler in 
his worship, a hypocrite, that would have been another thing, and he 
might have so termed him ; otherwise, no sincere humility towards 
God, however great, can be base, because of the divine majesty, and 
greatness, and excellence. Humility towards wicked or base men, 
is another matter. But, in the sequel, we shall not find Abel to be 
basely humble, though meek, towards the violent and haughty fratri- 
cide. True humility is ever esteemed a virtue, and therefore cannot 
be base. As to his humility shewing more of fear than worship, it 
might shew so to Cain ; but how could he prove it ? We have in a 
former Note, distinguished between different kinds of fear, and of 
worship, and shewn what true worship is ; how did Cain know that 
Abel's worship was not of that description ? The unquestionable 
fact is, that it was so : for he has the divine testimony to it : " not 
as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And 
wherefore slew he him ? Because his own works were evil, and his 
brother's righteous." Now this inspired record would hardly have 
been given of Abel, had he been a hypocrite. Adah's remonstrance 
is still consistent with herself. She plainly tells him that not the mag- 
nitude of the offering, but the spirit in which it is made is what 
makes it acceptable. She does not indeed advert to the necessity 
of an animal sacrifice, though there seems every reason to believe 
mat those sacrifices had been instituted by the Almighty's instructions 
to Adam. Possibly Adam and Abel might have been accustomed to 
offer animal sacrifices. And as offerings of the first-ripe fruits were 
afterwards instituted, they, it may be, were also occasionally presented 
in divine worship in Paradise, which may account for Adah's refe- 
rence to them. Cain however does not seem to have been in the ha- 
bit of offering sacrifices either of one kind or the other. Cain's reply 
to Adah's kind and appropriate remonstrance is somewhat curious, 
but requires a little consideration also. He thinks he has done won- 



WITH NOTES. 375 

ders in having, " according to the curse," condescended to cultivate 
the "young earth which kindly yielded her fruits with little labour," 
according to his father's account ; as if that had been doing some 
great service to his maker, rather than to himself; and then asks, if 
he must do more. He then proceeds to argumentation, and en- 
quires if his war with the elements, [viz. ploughing, sowing, reap- 
ing, sun-shine, rain, and so forth,] require him to be gentle. Yet 
most men, in these days, think that if those circumstances do not 
particularly demand gentleness, yet that gentleness, to say the least, 
is no hindrance to them; and still more, I suppose, that the same cir- 
cumstances do not require the opposite to gentleness. He next asks, 
if he is bound to be grateful, for being dust, and grovelling in the 
dust, till he return to dust. I should answer, certainly not exactly 
so, nor is it indeed possible that he should be grateful for such con- 
siderations as those ; and if there were nothing else in his existence 
that excited his gratitude, it shews he was not capable of gratitude ; 
and what that creature is, whether man or other animal, and how es- 
teemed, who is (unlike the " ox and the ass") devoid of gratitude, 
needs not be said. What he means by " grovelling in the dust" I 
do not know, unless that in dry weather some dust adhered to him 
in his work. But we hear not much if any thing of such complaints 
in these days amongst husbandmen : at any rate not of " grovelling." 
It seems to me, that to be destitute of gratitude to God, is a tremend- 
ous sign that we are total strangers to him, and ought to awaken our 
jealousy of ourselves when we detect our forgetfulness of, and un- 
thankfulness to him ; which, who is not too apt to fall into ? For 
scripture abundantly informs us that if man's heart be given to his 
maker, (" son, give me thine heart,") let his outward condition be what 
it may, he will find cause for gratitude. Cain next acts the sophister 
again : " if I am nothing :" who has said he was nothing ? No- 
body but Lucifer, Adah herself being witness ; for she reminded him 
that " Jehovah said not that." And in a former Note we have 
seen, that man is much. Then, supposing himself nothing, (false 
supposition as it was,) he asks, if for nothing he shall be an hypo- 



376 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

crite ? Who has wanted him to be a hypocrite at all ? But in fact 
he was something, and something very important too, whether Lu- 
cifer and he would allow it or not ; for he was a responsible moral 
agent i how can he be acquitted of abusing his intellectual powers, 
in his rebellious conduct towards his creator, against whom he had 
no just complaint ? As to his seeming well-pleased with pain ; no 
one asked him to do that either. But what was his pain ? We have 
seen. He then asks, if he should be contrite for his father's sin ? 
Perhaps not ; but he had abundance of his own to be contrite for. 
Yet sorrow, or concern, even for his father's sin, would not have been 
amiss : but contrition belongs to a sinner for his own sins ; not 
another's. But how absurd, to talk, (as if he were the judge,) of his 
father's sin being expiated by what they all had undergone already ! 
In the first place, was he the judge of that? In the next place, 
what had they undergone ? Not death actually, which was the sen- 
tence pronounced ; but merely his parents' removal from Eden, 
under very merciful and tender circumstances of divine attention 
and care, to a somewhat less exuberant soil ; and they were all happy 
except himself; and why not he ? And as to talking of future ex- 
piation by then- seed ; more absurd still. How could they expiate ? 
None could, in fact, expiate, but their offended and gracious creator 
himself, in the person of the Son, and that upon the " accursed tree;" 
as we have before seen. He himself provided the expiation, (of which 
all their sacrifices were emblematic or typical,) and which Adam and 
Eve, and Abel, all, except Cain, believed in, and glady received, 
according to the prospective light they had. Cain's own, and Adah's 
consequent emotion, on the child's account, is natural enough. But 
his reflection upon their " young sleeper there," is quite in the dis- 
torted and exaggerated style of Cain and Lucifer ; and we know 
that eternal misery will be the portion of none who do not, like Cain, 
despise the appointed means of avoiding it. Nor then, if they repent, 
and turn to their maker, through him, who died " the just for the un- 
just that he might bring them to God." Adah however seems to feel 
the terrificness of Cain's state of mind. She says : 



WITH NOTES. 377 



ADAH. 

Then, why so awful in thy speech ? 

CAIN. 

I said, 

'T were better that he ceased to live, than give 
Life to so much sorrow as he must 
Endure, and, harder still, bequeath ; but since 
That saying jars you, let us only say 
'T were better that he never had been born. 

ADAH. 

Oh, do not say so ! Where were then the joys, 

The mother's joys of watching, nourishing, 

And loving him'? Soft ! he awakes. Sweet Enoch ! 

[She goes to the child. 
Oh Cain ! look on him ; see how full of life, 
Of strength, of bloom, of beauty, and of joy, 
How like to me how like to thee, when gentle, 
For then we are all alike ; is 't not so, Cain 1 
Mother, and sire, and son, our features are 
Reflected in each other ; as they are 
In the clear waters, when they are gentle, and 
When thou art gentle. Love us, then, my Cain! 
And love thyself for our sakes, for we love thee. 
Look! how he laughs and stretches out his arms, 
And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine, 
To hail his father ; while his little form 



378 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Flutters as wing'd with joy. Talk not of pain ! 
The childless cherubs well might envy thee 
The pleasures of a parent ! Bless him, Cain! 
As yet he hath no words to thank thee, but< 
His heart will, and thine own too. 

CAIN. 

Bless thee, boy ! 

If that a mortal blessing may avail thee, 
To save thee from the serpent's curse ! 

ADAH. 

It shall. 

Surely a father's blessing may avert 
A reptile's subtlety. 



CAIN. 

Of that I doubt ; 



But bless him ne'er the less. 



Note 64. 

Adah, we see, reproves Cain, not only for his terrible speeches, 
but even for saying it would have been better for his son never to have 
been born, considering the pleasures his mother would have in her 
various parental cares. In that, and in her sentiments displayed in 
her following animated description of her little one, I apprehend she 
will find many more to correspond and agree with her, than with 
Cain : for she speaks the voice of nature in its most amiable form. 
Her entreaty, too, to Cain, to love himself for their sakes, seems very 
allowable, to say perhaps the least. As for the childless cherubs' 



WITH NOTES. 379 

envying him the pleasures of a parent, that seems to be, most pro- 
bably, her mere parental hyperbole ; yet, on that score, pardonable : 
the subjects are totally different. She will, however, be applauded, 
for bidding Cain not to talk of pain, under all his circumstances : 
And if she did not, ought he ? Her anxiety for him to bless his 
child is also very natural. But I think Cain's doubt of the efficacy 
of his so doing was well founded ; for although some of the patri- 
archs, Isaac, Jacob, and others, pronounced blessings upon their 
families ; yet they not only appear to have done it under divine influ- 
ence, and immediate authority, but were also true worshippers of 
God, which Cain was not, and of course could not pretend to im- 
mediate divine influence or authority ; without which, no mortal can 
convey a blessing to another; that is, from God; though he may 
supplicate of God to grant his blessing to others : but even that Cain 
was not likely to do, and in fact did not; so that his blessing, as he 
termed it, was mere mummery, or gross mockery, if he did it in the 
divine name, infidel as he was ; and if he did not, what did it amount 
to ? Can man bless man ? Do the scriptures authorize that idea ? 
Who can bless but God only ? It is true, man may pray to God 
for his blessing on his children, or other individuals, if God give 
him the spirit of supplication ; otherwise what are mere words ; are 
they not mockery, according to scripture, unless uttered under divine 
influence ? " They that worship the Father must worship him in 
spirit and in truth ; for the Father seeketh such to worship him." 
Beside, Cain was not, like the patriarchs, prospectively a believer in 
Christ ; in whose name alone, through faith in him, and for his sake, 
as scripture abundantly tells us, we can come to God with any pe- 
tition or request. In any other way, if scripture be true, God will 
not hear man for himself or others. Jesus Christ says, " that what- 
soever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you." 
And, " whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the 
Father may be glorified in the Son." And, (( if ye shall ask any 
thing in my name, I will do it." But what can we think of a mere 
man directing prayers to be put up to God in his name, which God, 



380 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

on man's account, for his sake will answer ; nay, which man himself 
will answer ? A man answer prayer to God ! Who can answer 
prayer but God only ? Either then Christ is God, or he was an 
arrogant, blasphemous, and wicked man ; though his folly must have 
been greater, if possible, than his wickedness. How any, after these 
and other similar pretensions of Christ, can profess to honour or 
reverence him, thinking him mere man, is strange, and painful to 
imagine. As mere man, he was to be deemed deserving of greater 
reprobation than Mahomet. But it is all made plain to those who 
credit him when he says, " I and my Father are one : what things 
soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise : he that 
hath seen me hath seen the Father : the Father which dwelleth in 
me, he doeth the works : I am in the Father and the Father in me : 
as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so 
the Son quickeneth whom he will." Here the Son and the Father 
do the very same acts, each by his independent power ; and yet the 
Son is by some said to be a mere man like themselves ! Who among 
the prophets or the apostles, arrogated the power of quickening whom 
they would ? The Jews attempted to stone Jesus for presuming to 
forgive sin : " who" say they " can forgive sin but God only ?" 

ADAH. 

Oar brother comes. 

CAIN. 
Thy brother Abel. 

Enter ABEL. 

ABEL. 

Welcome, Cain ! My brother, 
The peace of God be on thee ! 



WITH NOTES. 381 

CAIN. 

Abel, hail! 

ABEL. 

Our sister tells me that thou hast been wandering, 
In high communion with a spirit, far 
Beyond our wonted range. Was he of those 
We have seen and spoken with, like to our father ? 

CAIN. 

No. 

ABEL. 

Why then commune with him? he may be 
A foe to the Most High. 

CAIN. 

And friend to man. 
Has the Most High been so if so you term him ? 

ABEL. 

Term him ! your words are strange to-day, my brother. 
My sister Adah, leave us for awhile 
We mean to sacrifice. 

ADAH. 

Farewell, my Cain; 
But first embrace thy son. May his soft spirit, 



382 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

And Abel's pious ministry, recall thee 
To peace and holiness ! 

[Exit ADAH, with her child. 

Note 65. 

The salutations of Cain and Abel are appropriate, so far as we 
are acquainted with Abel's character, as well as Cain's. Abel, how- 
ever, with all his " meekness of brow," for which Cain lately scoffed 
at him, Lord Byron, with admirable judgment and right feeling, 
has made to possess the heroic and undaunted spirit of a martyr ; 
which more perhaps applaud, than think they should have courage, 
and fidelity to God, to follow. I know not whether his questioning 
his elder brother may be deemed by some too free or authoritative. 
But at any rate he seems to have done it more in a spirit of regard, 
than in a spirit inconsistent with that meekness of brow which Cain 
ascribed to him. He did not say of Cain, as Cain did of him, 
" am I my brother's keeper ? " Abel certainly felt for him ; and 
thence his warmth, and honest and bold remonstrance. An amiable 
and noble example. But Abel shews, that the profoundest (and most 
due) reverence and regard to God may consist with the greatest in- 
trepidity towards man. Abel therefore is not fearful though pious. He 
was another "Abdiel, faithful found." He saw, and felt for, his brother's 
dangerous condition, and would freely have sacrificed his own temporal 
existence, if it might have saved Cain from eternal misery. He how- 
ever challenges Lucifer as " a foe to the Most High." Cain's reply is 
remarkable, "and friend toman." Now this was appropriate for 
Cain : but will he find a second upon Earth to call Lucifer man's 
friend ? He then horribly asks, if the Most High, if to be so termed, 
has been so ? Abel might well start at that, perhaps first, indica- 
tion to him of Cain's atheistical or impious state of mind, which in- 
duces him to call his words " strange," and to request of Adah to 
retire, that, by worship, Cain might, if possible, receive a better in- 
fluence. Adah's farewell is of course beautiful and appropriate. Nor 



WITH NOTES. 383 

has the author forgotten to put into her mouth a wish, which none 
could, or would, have done, without some conception both of the 
nature and value of the peace of God, and of holiness too. Those 
words do not appear to me to be used sarcastically. Lord Byron 
therefore has from me, the credit of them. Happy all who enjoy their 
import. 

ABEL. 

Where hast thou been "? 

CAIN. 
I know not. 

ABEL. 

Nor what thou hast seen ? 

CAIN. 

The dead, 

The immortal, the unbounded, the omnipotent, 
The over-powering mysteries of space 
The innumerable worlds that were and are 
A whirlwind of such overwhelming things, 
Suns, moons, and earths, upon their loud-voiced spheres 
Singing in thunder round me, as have made me 
Unfit for mortal converse : leave me, Abel. 

L 

ABEL. 

Thine eyes are flashing with unnatural light 
Thy cheek is flushed with an unnatural hue 
Thy words are fraught with an unnatural sound 
What may this mean 1 



384 CAIN, A MYSTERY. 

CAIN. 

It means 1 pray thee, leave me. 

ABEL. 
Not till we have pray'd and sacrificed together. 

CAIN. 

Abel, I pray thee, sacrifice alone 
Jehovah loves thee well. 

ABEL. 

Both well, I hope. 

CAIN. 

But thee the better : I care not for that ; 
Thou art filter for his worship than I am : 
Revere him, then but let it be alone 
At least, without me. 

ABEL. 

Brother, I should ill 

Deserve the name of our great father's son, 
If as my elder I revered thee not, 
And in the worship of our God call'd not 
On thee to join me, and precede me in 
Our priesthood 'tis thy place. 

CAIN. 

But I have ne'er 
Asserted it. 



WITH NOTES. 385 



ABEL. 

The more my grief; I pray thec 
To do so now : thy soul seems labouring in 
Some strong delusion ; it will calm thee, 

CAIN. 

No; 

Nothing can calm me more. Calm ! say I ? Never 
Knew I what calm was in the soul, although 
I have seen the elements still'd. My Abel, leave me ! 
Or let me leave thee to thy pious purpose. 

ABEL. 

Neither ; we must perform our task together. 
Spurn me not. 

CAIN. 

If it must be so well, then, 

What shall I do ? 

ABEL. 

Choose one of those two altars. 



CAIN. 

Choose for me : they to me are so much turf 
And stone. 

c c 



386 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ABEL. 

Choose thou! 

CAIN. 

I have chosen. 

ABEL. 

'T is the highest, 

And suits thee, as the elder. Now prepare 
Thine offerings. 

CAIN. 
Where are thine? 

ABEL. 

Behold them here 

The firstlings of the flock, and fat thereof 
A shepherd's humble offering. 

CAIN. 

I have no flocks ; 

I am a tiller of the ground, and must 
Yield what it yieldeth to my toil its fruit : 

[He gathers fruits. 
Behold them in their various bloom and ripeness. 

[They dress their altars^ and kindle a flame 
upon them. 



WITH NOTES. 387 



ABEL. 

My brother, as the elder, offer first 

Thy prayer and thanksgiving with sacrifice. 

CAIN. 

No I am new to this ; lead thou the way, 
And I will follow as I may. 

Note 66. 

Cain confesses to Abel, that he had seen things which unfitted 
him for mortal converse : the effect not so much of what he had 
seen, however, as of what he had heard from Lucifer's poisonous 
injections. Lord Byron's conception seems to have been, that Cain 
was reluctantly drawn into the circumstances which wrought so hor- 
ribly upon him. He seems desirous of avoiding them, and his birth 
right together. On the other hand, one knows not how to blame 
Abel ; for evidently his importunities to his brother arose from the 
best feelings and purest intentions. Abel was far from envying, or 
coveting from his elder brother, that honour which his birth gave 
him, of precedency in religious acts ; and on his brother's renouncing 
it, not only expresses his regret, but most honestly tells him he is 
labouring under some tremendous delusion ; and encourages him to 
hope, that the proposed acts of worship would remove it, and re- 
store him to that calmness which Adah wished him on parting. But 
it should seem, that Cain was too deeply tinctured with his own in- 
vincible antipathy to God, and Lucifer's additional lessons, to ad- 
mit of that. Yet he is willing and desirous to be well quit of Abel, 
if he would perform his worship without him. It cannot be denied 
that Abel, by his ardour, brought the catastrophe upon himself. But 
who will not sooner admire than blame him ; especially as he neither 
repented of it, nor had any enmity to Cain in consequence ? But 
c c 2 



388 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

though also one can scarcely avoid feeling for Cain in his present cir- 
cumstances; yet, taking all together, from what we have seen of him 
past, and what we shall see of him to come ; can he be excused ? 
The choosing of the altars, and the other unwilling acts of Cain's who 
merely consents to follow Abel's instructions, are quite characteristic, 
and lead to important results. 



ABEL. ( Kneeling. ) 

Oh God ! 

Who made us, and who breathed the breath of life 
Within our nostrils, who hath blessed us, 
And spared, despite our father's sin, to make 
His children all lost, as they might have been, 
Had not thy justice been so temper'd with 
The mercy which is thy delight, as to 
Accord a pardon like a Paradise, 
Compar'd with our great crimes: Sole Lord of light! 
Of good, and glory, and eternity ; 
Without whom all were evil, and with whom 
Nothing can err, except to some good end 
Of thine omnipotent benevolence 
Inscrutable, but still to be fulfill'd 
Accept from out thy humble first of shepherd's 
First of the first-born flocks an offering, 
In itself nothing as what offering can be 
Aught unto theel but yet accept it for 
The thanksgiving of him wbo spreads it in 
The face of thy high Heaven, bowing his own 
Even to the dust, of which he is, in honour 
Of thee, and of thy name, for evermore ! 



WITH NOTES. 389 



Note 67. 

With the foregoing address of Abel to the Almighty, we would 
riot if possible, find any material discrepancy with the principles 
which throughout these Notes have been considered as scriptural. 
Yet, in some respects, I cannot but think Abel not quite correct on 
scripture principles. He says, "and spar'd, despite our father's 
sin, to make his children all lost, as they might have been, had not 
thy justice been so temper'd with the mercy," and so forth. Now 
in the first place, God cannot (I speak reverentially, but I think 
scripturally) temper his justice with mercy in regard of the salvation 
of man; though he may and does in regard of temporal judgments. 
He has not done it. His justice has been/w% satisfied, and more 
than satisfied, if possible, by the obedience and death of Christ. 
Not one particle of mercy did Jehovah the Father shew, to Jehovah 
the Son, the substitute of sinful man, in the matter of man's eternal 
redemption. Did not Jesus suffer the very uttermost of the law ? 
Did he not drink the cup of God's displeasure against sin, to the 
very dregs ? How then was God's justice " temper'd" with mercy 
towards the Son of his love, whom he gave for lost sinners ? Besides, 
I think Abel wrong in considering Adam's children (mankind) " all 
lost, as they might have been, had not thy justice been so temper'd," 
&c. For if the scriptures are to be credited, those who have received, 
and shall receive, Christ as their " atonement," never could have 
been " lost ;" being tl chosen in him before the foundation of the 
world ;" their names were " written in the Lamb's book of life" from 
"everlasting," as is evident throughout scripture: they were 
"given" to Christ, to die for, and save. Their redemption was not 
a casual, but a settled thing with God, and " according to his eter- 
nal purpose." God had no occasion to entertain any conflict, there- 
fore, between his mercy and his justice. Christ undertook to satisfy 
his justice. Man's desire ought to be, to be included in this won- 
derful and gracious arrangement. He next says of the Almighty, 



390 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

" without whom all were evil." Now if God be indeed the sole 
cause of all things ; then nothing is, or can be, " without' 1 him. 
"For by him all things consist." Therefore Abel first supposes that 
things may be without God, which is impossible ; and in the next 
place, assumes, that all those things are evil: in contradiction of 
which it is presumed enough has been said. Again; he says, " with 
whom nothing can err, except to some good end of thine omnipotent 
benevolence." What he means by omnipotent benevolence I hardly 
know: infinite "benevolence" I understand : what is meant by an 
" omnipotent" being I also understand ; but the association of " om- 
nipotent benevolence" I cannot see the propriety of at all. How- 
ever, what is worse, is, he says, that to some good end of this same 
high-sounding (and had the speech been Cain's or Lucifer's, I should 
have added, insincere and ironical) "omnipotent benevolence," 
things may "err" with God; which must be denied. Who will 
admit that any thing, of God's doing, can be erroneous, for any pur- 
pose, or to any end, whatever ? That many of God's purposes are, 
to man, " inscrutable," and will nevertheless be "fulfilled," we know ; 
but that does not make them erroneous. The offering which Abel says 
can be " nought" to God, was in fact, much to God ; being, doubt- 
less, of his own appointment, and prefigurative of Christ, the great 
offering, the lamb slain before the foundation of the world, of Je- 
hovah's merciful providing, for the redemption of multitudes of the 
lost race of man multitudes, whose eternal salvation would, in 
God's time, be evidenced by their certain reception of the Son as their 
Saviour. Had Cain or Lucifer been the penner of this speech of 
Abel's, I should have said, that the last four lines of it were intended 
to create an odium against the Almighty, by making Abel use ex- 
pressions to him which, generally speaking, suit a tyrant, such as 
Lucifer pretends God to be, rather than the kind parent of all his 
creatures who approach him in the name of, and through, the Son 
the gift of his love and mercy. Such servile expressions cr actions 
belong not to them. God requires it not of those who are "adopted," 
and made "heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ." Yet 



WITH NOTES. 391 

this does not exclude the lowest acts, or feelings, of abasement, in- 
fluenced by an immediate perception, bestowed by the Spirit, of the 
majesty, or goodness of God, and man's own delinquency and no- 
thingness; as scripture testifies. Cain's address now claims our 
attention. 



CAIN. (Standing erect during this speech.) 

Spirit! whatc'er or whosoe'er thou art, 

Omnipotent, it may be and, if good, 

Shewn in the exemption of thy deeds from evil ; 

Jehovah upon Earth ! and God in Heaven ! 

And it may be with other names, because 

Thine attributes seem many, as thy works : 

If thou must be propitiated with prayers. 

Take them ! If thou must be induced with altars, 

And soften 'd with a sacrifice, receive them ! 

Two beings here erect them unto thee. 

If thou lov'st blood, the shepherd's shrine, which smokes 

On my right hand, hath shed it for thy service 

In the first of his flock, whose limbs now reek 

In sanguinary incense to thy skies ; 

Or if the sweet and blooming fruits of Earth, 

And milder seasons, which the unstain'd turf 

I spread them on now offers in the face 

Of the broad sun which ripen'd them, may seem 

Good to thee, inasmuch as they have not 

Suffer'd in life or limb, and rather form 

A sample of thy works, than supplication 

To look on ours ! If a shrine without victim, 

And altar without gore, may win thy favour, 



392 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Look on it! and for him who dresseth it, 

He is such as thou mad'st him; and seeks nothing 

Which must be won by kneeling: if he's evil, 

Strike him ! thou art omnipotent, and may'st 

For what can he oppose? If he be good, 

Strike him, or spare him, as thou wilt ! since all 

Rests upon thee ! and good and evil seem 

To have no power themselves, save in thy will ; 

And whether that be good or ill I know not, 

Not being omnipotent, nor fit to judge 

Omnipotence, but merely to endure 

Its mandate ; which thus far I have endured. 

[ The fire upon the altar of ABEL kindles into a 
column of the brightest flame, and ascends 
to heaven; while a whirlwind throws 
down the altar of CAIN, and scatters the 
fruits abroad upon the earth. 

Note 68. 

It is not without some difficulty that I have borne to transcribe 
this speech ; nor could have done it, but for the purpose of its examin- 
ation, I hope with some benefit to the minds of others as well as to 
my own. But if I felt occasion to make some remark on Abel's, 
much more so on this ; in which, nevertheless, I think it must be con- 
fessed; that Lord Byron has displayed prodigious powers of mind, 
in so justly conceiving of, and pourtraying, such a character. The 
commencement, expressing doubt of the Almighty's existence and na- 
ture, is much in the manner of Lucifer : and Cain's daring assump- 
tion, that if God were good, it would be shewn in the exemption of 
his works from evil, is quite consistent with his character and spirit 
throughout. On the subject of evil, I add nothing here. In the first 



WITH NOTES. 393 

place, although it might be heroism thus uselessly to brave a wicked 
or evil being of irresistible power, at the danger of the utmost punish- 
ment, yet it is any thing but heroism, and at least most egregious 
folly and insensibility, to act so towards a being whose works most 
manifestly speak goodness in the highest degree. This we have before 
considered, and concluded upon as incontestible, from every evidence. 
As to Cain's ascription of other names or attributes to the Almighty, 
I conceive, that whatever attributes mankind, in their ignorance, may 
have assigned to him, yet the attributes which scripture ascribes to 
the Almighty are those of being eternal, self-existent, independent, 
immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, infinite in wisdom, 
holiness, justice, truth, and goodness. With respect to Cain's ques- 
tioning the Almighty if he must be propitiated with prayers ; although 
Cain's spirit and irreverence, are such in this and some other similar 
parts of this speech, as properly speaking not to be deserving of seri- 
ous replies, yet such replies shall be given. Cain therefore might be 
told, that the Almighty is not to be propitiated with prayers ; of 
themselves, the prayers of sinful and rebellious man cannot, in reason, 
be expected to be propitiatory ; but God has, both in the Old and 
New Testament, declared and appointed what propitiations he will 
accept : and they of his own providing. He did not lay so impos- 
sible a task upon man as to provide his own propitiation. Jesus 
Christ therefore it is " whom God hath set forth a propitiation through 
faith in his blood," for as many as receive him : the very sacrifice 
which even Socrates is said to have expected from the divine good- 
ness. The propitiations therefore, of the Old Testament, were sacri- 
ficial, and prefigurative of that of the New Testament, and fulfilled 
in the person of Jesus Christ. In and through whom, also, prayer, 
then, becomes, though not propitiatory, yet acceptable, and received. 
And what but Cain's pride, and self-conceit, and self-importance, 
could possibly hinder his acceptance of this arrangement ? As to his 
speaking also of God's being induced with altars, and softened with 
a sacrifice ; suppose it to be so, as in fact it then was, in so far as 
God appointed it as the mode he chose ; what can there be to object 



394 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

to, except in a rebellious and unreasonable mind ? It has pleased 
the Almighty, in his wisdom and mercy, to dispense with those rites 
in latter times ; they being completed in Christ : substituting only 
faith in the Son, and reliance upon God's acceptance for his sake, and 
for his sufferings, and for the sacrifice of himself. Cam's manner of 
noticing the shepherd's shrine, and God's delighting in blood, savours 
entirely of the same spirit of resistance to, and contumely of, his 
maker, and of putting his own views of right and wrong in the place 
of, and in opposition to, those of God ; beside the insinuation of cru- 
elty implied in it. Is reason to be abandoned and never submitted 
to, for the sake of gratifying our own conceits ? If not, and if reason 
be allowed to put an end to doubts and objections, then reason tells 
us, that man has received a revelation from his creator, which informs 
him, that his creator did actually appoint those sacrificial institutions 
which the revelation speaks of, and all, evidently, prefigurative of the 
death of Christ, as the real atonement. Isaac, intentionally offered 
up by his father Abraham, was the most eminent type. What then 
has man to do but to receive and obey his maker's will so communi- 
cated to him ? In Cain's time indeed the books of Moses were not 
written ; nor then was there any written revelation ; which perhaps 
may be thought to form some excuse for Cain. Yet there seems 
every reason to believe, that the Almighty had, even to Adam, 
revealed his will, that the sacrifices Adam and Abel were in the habit 
of offering, should be so offered ; and that they had some, though 
obscure, perception, of the end of such sacrifices, namely, the ultimate 
great atoning sacrifice of Christ; that "mystery," God himself, in 
the person of the Son, " reconciling the world unto himself" by such 
a stupendous method. With respect to God's appointing the blood 
of victims, it would be too long, and quite unnecessary here, to enter 
upon the subject. Suffice it, that he did require it as prefiguring the 
inestimable blood of Christ. The almost universal practice of sacri- 
ficing victims, among most nations, in some mode or other, without 
doubt derived from the Hebrews, proves the general impression upon 
mankind, of the required mode of procuring the divine favour, how- 



)V1TH NOTES. 395 

ever the practice has been disfigured and abused ; even to the extent 
of human immolation, with which the Almighty, by his prophets, 
was continually expressing his displeasure. But such a general im- 
pression, in my humble opinion, it cannot rationally be believed 
God would have either excited, or permitted, had it not been pre- 
lusive, and confirmatory of the great sacrifice ever in contemplation. 
May it not be, that human immolation, to appease the gods, espe- 
cially of their sons, in some instances took its rise from traditions of 
the intentional sacrifice of Isaac by his Father ? And we are in- 
formed, in his word, that it is only the infinite and divine WORTH 
of that blood (the divine being united with the human nature) which 
renders it available. It is called u the precious blood of Christ." 
Why the heart's blood of Christ should be needful, who can tell, un- 
less as indicative of being his very life, that life which man had for- 
feited, and which could only be redeemed by so costly and substitu- 
tionary an equivalent ? But is it for man to quarrel with that ? It 
is believed, that the blood, which issued from the body of the Re- 
deemer on being pierced upon the cross, was the effect of a rupture 
of the heart from grief and mental agony, and therefore was his heart's 
blood ; such rupture having been occasioned by his previous agonies 
of mind ; and that his death was not attributable to his crucifixion, 
but to what is termed a broken heart. Thus the scriptures were am- 
ply fulfilled that man must die. For the life of animals is in their 
blood. Man did, thus die most emphatically, that man might live : 
all this, confessedly, is resolvable only into the will of the Supreme. 
But who has been the sufferer? Who the gainer? Of what then 
has man to complain ? I repeat, it cannot be known why it has 
seemed good to the Almighty not to restore man otherwise than 
through bloodshedding. But such is the fact. And the apostle 
says " without shedding of blood there is no remission." And ano- 
ther speaks of redemption by the " precious blood of Christ." Is 
it for man to revolt thus against his own salvation ? The question 
is, has it been revealed ; or is what is alleged to be such revelation, 
reasonably credible to be such revelation from our creator? If reason 



396 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

cannot overthrow, but confirms that fact, disputing should cease. 
I do not deny indeed that many have sympathized, and perhaps 
some by recollection, do yet sympathize with the sufferings of Jesus 
Christ (God in the person of the Son) who confessedly endured the 
whole displeasure of God against sin, in all its accumulation; but 
such sympathy does not, surely, lead to crimination of the divine pur- 
poses and proceedings ; only to increased admiration of them. How 
can reason reconcile it to the wisdom and goodness of God that 
Christ should have suffered and died as he did (with such marked 
and pathetic descriptions for centuries before) if he were only a moral 
teacher, whose precepts we may observe or disregard almost at plea- 
sure ? Beside, as such teacher, or even witness to any truth, he was 
not exclusively wanted : and as in physics it is said that nature (or 
God rather) never does that circuitously, or at greater expence of 
means, which fewer may suffice for, how emphatically does that ap- 
ply to this suffering blcodshedding and death of Christ ? for which no 
adequate occasion can be shewn, if he were a mere moral teacher ; 
for of such there had been, and were, enough. The subsequent ex- 
pressions of Cain in this speech ; respecting his sacrifice of fruits and 
blossoms, and an altar without gore, and a shrine without victim, and 
the rest, will now therefore be of no effect. They are merely rhetorical. 
We see the spirit of resistance and pride from which those expressions 
proceed. And with respect to Cain's tender feelings for the victims 
offered up on God's altars, where are the feelings of man even in 
the present day, (whether Cain ate flesh I know not,) in sacrificing 
such multitudes of victims for their own appetites ? the victims of the 
knife the sledge hammer the gun the chase. The rest of Cain's 
speech is truly rant ; and though impious, yet in character. As to its 
being a question with Cain whether he was himself good or evil, I be- 
lieve it is a question with no one else : and his daring God to strike 
him, equals any thing Lucifer himself could have uttered, and perhaps 
exceeds it. All certainly does, as he says, and well for man that it 
does, rest upon God. Good and evil confessedly have no power 
themselves, because they are mere qualities ; and power can only be 



WITH NOTES. 397 

attributed to an intelligent agent. The effects of good and evil are 
no doubt in God's will only ; where should they be ? But if Cain 
meant to insinuate, that it mattered not to man (himself for instance) 
in regard to his maker's acceptance, whether he were good or evil ; 
he was quite wrong : it makes great difference. But he, to be sure, 
of all men, had vast reason to talk of good or goodness in himself! 
No man, however, can be truly good in himself; only as a believer 
in Christ. When the Redeemer himself was complimented with the 
title of " good master," he, as man, disclaimed it ; saying, that one 
only was good ; that was, God. In Christ, however, who is God, 
the Father considers man as good : out of Christ, as evil. Beside, 
the scriptures declare, that " if any man be in Christ he is a new 
creature :" viz. regenerated by the Holy Spirit ; and made, though 
not perfect, yet different to what he was before, in morals, and in piety 
to God. Thus again, admirably, the offices of the Son, and the Spirit, 
and the Father, one Jehovah, are illustrated. Who can wish for any 
other mode of salvation ? How satisfactory ! how secure ! How con- 
sistent with morality ; for without morality any pretence to faith in 
Christ is to be discredited. At the same time how justly abasing to 
man ; how justly exalting to God and Christ ! As to Cain's not know- 
ing whether God's will were good or ill, we know what a judge he 
was of that matter. But others know, that God's will is good, and 
good only, as has been seen. He is however very correct in confess- 
ing himself unfit to judge omnipotence. The best thing perhaps he 
ever said : as well as that he was only fit to endure. And as to his 
having thus far endured it, as he terms his existence, it were happy 
for him if his evil disposition did not cause his enduring something in 
reality. It should however be added, in reply to Cain's objections 
to kneeling, and to prayer, in order to win any thing by so doing, that, 
whether kneeling or standing, which are mere circumstances if the 
heart be prostrate and sincere ; yet, as to prayer itself, it must neces- 
sarily be the highest privilege of man : for what is it, but permitted 
intercourse with his maker in the expression of those various affections 
of which the soul, the spiritual nature of man, is the subject, under 



398 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

the influence of the Holy Spirit ? And when Cain says that he was 
what God made him, can he conscientiously say, that God forced 
him to consort with Lucifer ? And although the Almighty certainly 
made Cain a human being, yet can Cain deny his own voluntary 
assumption of that rebellious spirit which distinguished him from 
the rest of his family ; and that, in spite of their entreaties ? Can he 
charge that on God ? unless indeed in the same way that he charged 
his maker with his parents' disobedience, and its consequences ; of 
which something has been said in a former Note ? 

ABE L. (Kneeling .) 
Oh, brother, pray ! Jehovah 's wroth with thee ! 

CAIN. 
Why so ? 

ABEL. 

Thy fruits are scatter'd on the earth. 

CAIN. 

From earth they came, to earth let them return ; 
Their seed will bear fresh fruit there ere the summer : 
Thy burnt flesh-off' ring prospers better ; see 
How heav'n licks up the flames, when thick with blood ! 

ABEL. 

Think not upon my offering's acceptance, 
But make another of thine own before 
It is too late. 



WITH NOTES. 399 



CAIN. 

I will build no more altars. 
Nor suffer any. 

ABEL. (Rising.) 

Cain! what meanest thou? 

CAIN. 

To cast down yon vile flatt'rer of the clouds, 
The smoky harbinger of thy dull pray'rs 
Thine altar, with its blood of lambs and kids, 
Which fed on milk, to be destroy'd in blood. 

ABEL. (Opposing him.) 

Thou shalt not: add not impious works to impious 
Words ! let that altar stand 'tis hallow'd now 
By the immortal pleasure of Jehovah, 
In his acceptance of the victims. 

CAIN. 

His ! 

His pleasure ! what was his high pleasure in 
The fumes of scorching flesh and smoking blood, 
To the pain of the bleating mothers, which 
Still yearn for their dead offspring 1 or the pangs 
Of the sad ignorant victims underneath 
Thy pious knife? Give way! this bloody record 
Shall not stand in the sun, to shame creation ! 



400 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

ABEL. 

Brother, give back ! thou shalt not touch my altar 
With violence : if that thou wilt adopt it, 
To try another sacrifice, 't is thine. 

CAIN. 

Another sacrifice ! Give way, or else 
That sacrifice may be 

ABEL. 
What mean'st thou 1 ? 

CAIN. 

Give- 

Give way! thy God loves blood! then look to it:- 
Give way, ere he hath more! 

ABEL. 

In his great name, 

I stand between thee and the shrine which hath 
Had his acceptance. 

CAIN. 

If thou lov'st thyself, 

Stand back till I have strew'd this turf along 
Its native soil: else- 



WITH NOTES. 401 

ABEL. (Opposing him.) 

I love God far more 
Than life. 

Note 69. 

It is evident that Lord Byron had studied his subject very 
deeply ; and though he has varied a little from, or gone a little be- 
yond, the letter of scripture, which is very concise, yet he has ap- 
parently entered with great exactness into the minds of Cain and 
Abel in the present most interesting, not to say distressing scene. And 
were it allowable to ascribe to the author of a dramatic work the prin- 
ciples or feelings of all or any of his characters, except as adopting 
them for his particular purpose, one should be at a loss to say, 
whether Lord Byron ought most to be identified with Cain, or with 
Abel ; so appropriately has he maintained the character of each. 
One may indeed pay his Lordship a like compliment in reference to 
the " Master of Spirits" himself. Cain's reply to Abel, on Abel's 
apprehension of the divine displeasure against the former, is remark- 
able for its stubborn and persevering sullenness, as well as for Cain's 
repeated allusion to Heaven's approval of Abel's sacrificial flames 
because " thick with blood." It may be so : the reason we have 
glanced at ; it was typical of his sufferings and self-devotedness, 
who afterwards was to sweat blood, and lose his life-blood, for that 
very Cain, if, at any period before his death, repentance should be 
given him, and he should turn to his offended maker, and accept his 
offered mercy in God's way. The mild intrepidity, which Lord 
Byron has so well introduced into Abel's character and conduct, is 
certainly admirable, and affords an excellent contrast to Cain's as- 
cription to his brother of a "meek brow, and base humility." One 
should think Cain himself must have been struck with his own in- 
justice, and Abel's magnanimity; which it is perhaps easier toad- 
mire than imitate. But the author's merit is the same. He has 



402 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

shewn an example worthy of imitation. But can Cain's overbearing 
and tyrannical conduct be justified ? What right had he to destroy 
his brother's altar ? Whether Abel was more noble than prudent, I 
am not to discuss. But he has high reward. Who can give Cain 
credit for his affected tenderness over " lambs and kids which fed on 
milk to be destroyed in blood"? Perhaps the antediluvians did not 
eat flesh. Yet it may seem unlikely they should go on sixteen hun- 
dred years without ; especially as they were clearly not scrupulous 
in their conduct. The grant to Adam did not, as it did to Noah, 
extend to the animals expressly for food. But Adam, when that grant 
was made, was in Paradise ; at least, he was placed in Paradise after- 
wards, if not then. And as " dominion" was, in the first instance, 
given him over all the animal creation; probably the use of them for 
food, when excluded from Eden, was not intended to be prohibited, 
as it was not, in words. I grant, with Cain, there is something 
very painful, even in the present day, in the treatment and death of 
lambs and kids and other creatures, for food. And some persons 
refuse such food ; though men of much milder spirits and meeker 
brow than Cain are found to kill them. But shall man pretend to 
be more merciful to God's creatures than God himself? Is not that 
pretence preposterous? Man's business is to mind that the ani- 
mals suffer in the least possible degree ; and, if he will have their 
lives for food, to take them in the easiest manner. With respect to 
Abel's " dull prayers," as Cain terms them ; if they were sincere, 
which there seems no ground to doubt, they were more or less earnest; 
and sincerity and earnestness are incompatible with dulness ; this is 
as between the supplicant and him to whom the supplications are 
addressed. To Cain, indeed, they may be very dull, because he 
could not possibly enter into their meaning, and they were, we 
know, very different prayers from his; not his prayers indeed, but 
his infidel and daring effrontery. Infidel I say, for he expresses more 
than doubts of the being and character of Jehovah. Had he believed 
in him, he could not have so expressed himself. But even this is in 
exact accordance with his whole character, and shews the author's 



WITH NOTES. 403 

just conception of it. But Cain's Luciferian spirit seems fast gain- 
ing upon him. He fancies he must be the sole arbiter of what is 
right and fit between his fellow creatures and his creator. He will 
not permit Abel to use his "pious knife," though his maker required 
him to do it. He would not permit a sacrificial altar, a "bloody re- 
cord" of the Redeemer's future sufferings, to " shame creation," 
though the great Lord of creation, his own creator, saw no shame in 
it. But can Cain be justified ? Abel, on the contrary, with great 
generosity, offers Cain his accepted altar to try another sacrifice ; but 
will not suffer it to be thrown down. Cain becomes more and more 
enraged. Well may scripture say " he was very wroth." And for 
what cause ? Men sometimes are so, and it is never right, though 
sometimes it may be somewhat excusable ; but when proceeding 
from a tyrannous mind, it is indefensible altogether. In opposition 
however to Cain's terrific denunciations, and probably equally terrific 
aspect, behold the grandeur, and intrepidity, though the mildness 
also, of the " meek brow'd" Abel ; who concludes the contest by 
declaring that he loved his " God far more than life." Others have 
done so, since Abel led the way. It seems not impossible, Lord 
Byron, in this conduct of Cain, had in his view the pagan or the 
papal persecutions, in which such multitudes have followed Abel ; 
for by Cain's declaring he would not " suffer any" other altar to 
stand, or be erected, he comes pretty near those who, in after times, 
destroyed their fellow creatures who were bent upon worshipping 
their creator according to the dictates of his word, and their own con- 
sciences. This the pagans would not permit, but they did not always 
force them to their false worship. Not so the papal persecutors. 
They would force their own idolatrous and wicked practices upon 
those who despised them ; and in default of compliance, slew, burnt, 
" tortured," and destroyed them. Whoever would know the spirit 
and the sufferings of Christians, should read, not only Fox's Martyr- 
ology, and other similiar biography ; but Milner's Church History ; 
and Jones's (fifth edition) of the History of the Christian Church, in- 
cluding his Account of the Waldenses and Albigenses. Mosheim's 
D D 2 



404 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Ecclesiastical History, also, is worthy of perusal. After such records, 
who can believe that they relate to the disciples, and confessors, and 
martyrs of a mere man, who taught moral precepts only, of no very 
extraordinary sublimity as such ; and who possessed, if mere man, 
no peculiar nature above other men, nor any superior sanction or 
influence to constrain, or power to encourage or support, those who, 
in their adherence to his precepts and declarations, endured most un- 
imaginable sufferings, and " loved not their lives unto the death" ? 
Christ a mere man, whose blood was of no more worth or efficacy 
than that of any other man or animal ! If so, whence the influence 
of his sayings, (blasphemous and absurd, and deserving punishment, 
if not true,) any more than those of Socrates, or Seneca, or Epictetus, 
or Moses, or Isaiah? But Cain's intolerance seems to have been 
against God himself professedly, full as much as against Abel. He did 
not wish to force Abel to his practices, though he would not permit any 
other worship. There seems therefore to be some difference in these 
three several modes of persecution Cain's, the pagan, and the papal. 
Cain's the least odious perhaps, as he apparently would have suffered 
Abel, had Abel been less zealous, to have sacrificed elsewhere, and 
at any other time, than there, and in his presence ; at any rate in his 
state of mind at that moment. But can he be justified in all or any 
part of this ? Is his passion or his pride an excuse for his impiety, 
and tyrannical conduct ? The account in scripture is very short ; 
and so far as it may be profitable to dwell upon, and imagine, the 
real cause of the catastrophe, Lord Byron seems to have done it as 
judiciously as one could expect. The only doubt is, whether he will 
seem to have contrived to throw into Cain's subsequent conduct, so 
much of better feelings, as to create too much indulgence for him. 
That his sufferings were infinitely greater than Abel's, and that 
Abel's loss of life was his immediate, and eternal gain, is undoubted. 
Surely credit is due to Lord Byron for such a character as Abel. 



WITH NOTES. 405 

CAIN. (Striking him with a brand) on the temples^ 
which he snatches from the altar.) 

Then take thy life unto thy God, 
Since he loves lives. 

ABEL. (Falls.) 
What hast thou done, my brother ? 

CAIN. 
Brother ! 

ABEL. 

Oh, God ! receive thy servant, and 
Forgive his slayer, for he knew not what 
He did. Cain, give me give me thy hand ; and tell 
Poor Zillah 

CAIN, (After a moment's stupefaction.) 

My hand! 'tis all red, and with 
Whatl 

(A long pause. Looking slowly round.) 

Where am 1 ? alone ! Where "s Abel ? where 
Cain ? Can it be that I am he 1 My brother, 
Awake! why liest thou so on the green earth? 
'T is not the hour of slumber: why so pale? 

What, hast thou ! thou wert full of life this morn ! 

Abel ! I pray thee, mock me not! I smote 
Too fiercely, but not fatally. Ah, why 



406 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

Would'st thou oppose me l . This is mockery ; 

And only done to daunt me : 'twas a blow 

And but a blow. Stir stir nay, only stir! 

Why, so that 'swell! thou breath" st! breathe upon me! 

Oh, God! Oh, God! 

ABEL. (Very faintly.) 

What 's he who speaks of God ? 

CAIN. 
Thy murderer. 

ABEL. 

Then may God forgive him ! Cain, 
Comfort poor Zillah : she has but one brother 
Now. 

[ABEL dies. 

CAIN. 

And I none! Who makes me brotherless ? 
His eyes are open ! then he is not dead! 
Death is like sleep ; and sleep shuts down our lids. 
His lips, too, are apart; why then he breathes ; 
And yet I feel it not. His heart! his heart! 

Let me see, doth it beat"? methinks No ! no ! 

This is a vision, else I am become 
The native of another and worse world. 
The earth swims round me : what is this ? 't is wet ; 
[Puts Ms hand to his brow, and then looks at it. 
And yet there are no dews! 'Tis blood my blood 



WITH NOTES. 407 

My brother's and my own ; and shed by me ! 
Then what have I further to do with life, 
Since I have taken life from my own flesh ? 
But he can not be dead ! Is silence death 1 
No ; he will awake : then let me watch by him. 
Life cannot be so slight, as to be queuch'd 
Thus quickly ! he hath spoken to me since 
What shall I say to him 1 My brother ! No ; 
He will not answer to that name ; for brethren 
Smite not each other. Yet yet speak to me. 
Oh ! for a word more of that gentle voice, 
That I may bear to hear my own again ! 

Note 70. 

It is not, I think, easy to say, in which the author has most ex- 
celled in this scene now before us; whether in the transcendent 
character of Abel, or in the deep and interesting compunction of Cain. 
Had Lord Byron intended to have been Cain's apologist, he could 
not have taken a more effectual method than he has done, in attribut- 
ing to him such sentiments and feelings as, though most beautifully 
natural, one should hardly have thought Cain capable of harbouring. 
But this mixture in his character is remarkable. It seems probable 
Lord Byron had in view Cain's apparent penitence when it is said 
of him in scripture, that, after being condemned by Jehovah, he 
expressed his apprehension (as the margin of the Bible reads it) that 
his crime was too great to be forgiven ; or by way of question is my 
crime greater than can be forgiven ? This, in either way, certainly 
has some appearance of contrition. For although Cain is mentioned 
in the New Testament as one (to say the least) whose conduct should 
be avoided as deathful ; yet it is clear the Almighty dealt mercifully 
with him. On the other hand, as no account is given of his ultimate 
repentance and forgiveness, as in the case of David and others, his 



408 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

final state is left in awful and admonitory darkness. How different 
however is Cain here from the hardened, unrelenting, ruthless, mur- 
derer ! Our former indignation against him throughout this lamentable 
transaction, seems almost to subside into pity. Abel's consistent 
and steady piety also, and his evidently sincere brotherly affection, 
cannot be overlooked. Is not his revival as it were from the very 
gate of death on hearing the name of God mentioned a name so 
dear to him above all others finely and correctly imagined? But 
he may easily be left to the enjoyment of his early-acquired bliss, to 
look after wretched Cain. For who will not give him credit for 
misery now ? He had indeed introduced into the world the enemy 
he so much dreaded Death. The whole soliloquy needs no com- 
ment ; it speaks plainly. How different from his former soliloquies ! 
His eyes now, as well as his parents', were opened. He, too, has 
obtained " knowledge." This is one of the results, indeed the grand 
result, of Lucifer's teaching : 



"Hunc, tu, Romane, caveto." 



He wanted to know what death was ; and now he sees it, of his own 
procuring, but cannot believe it. He would be glad to hear again 
Abel's " gentle voice ;" and could he have heard it, he would not 
repeat his mockery of his " meek brow," which was true ; nor of his 
" base humility," which was false. But what humility ? Who does 
not covet it ? Who would not be, if he might, in faith, fidelity, 
tenderness, and courage of ethereal temper, such an Abel? We 
have more however to bear, and must pass on to further trials. 
Lord Byron does not do things by halves. Let us just advert to 
Cain's question' u who makes me b*otherless ?" He does not now 
ascribe that evil to his creator, but seems to take it, very sincerely, 
upon himself. 



WITH NOTES. 409 



Enter ZILLAH. 

ZILLAH. 

I heard a heavy sound : what can it be ? 

'T is Cain ; and watching by my husband. What 

Dost thou there, brother 1 ? Doth he sleep? Oh! heav'n! 

What means that paleness, and yon stream ? No ! no ! 

It is not blood; for who would have shed his blood? 

Abel ! what's this? who hath done this? He moves not; 

He breathes not : and his hands drop down from mine 

With stony lifelessness ! Ah ! cruel Cain ! 

Why cam'st thou not in time to save him from 

This violence ? Whatever hath assail'd him, 

Thou wert the stronger, and should'st have stepp'd in 

Between him and aggression ! Father ! Eve 

Adah ! Come hither ! Death is in the world ! 

[Exit ZILLAH, calling on her Parents, Sfc. 



CAIN. 

And who hath brought him there ? I who abhor 

name of Death so deeply, that the thought 
mpoison^d all my life, before I knew 
/ His aspect I have led him here, and given 
My brother to his cold and still embrace, 
As if he would not have asserted his 
Inexorable claim without my aid. 
I am awake at last a dreary dream 
Had madden'd me ; but he shall ne'er awake ! 



410 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



Note 71. 

Even poor Zillah's grief, and agonized feelings, must yield to 
our attention to the chief figure in this almost petrifying scene. 
How different is Cain solus now, to Cain solus heretofore ! But 
while we feel for him, yet must we not forget that horrible train of 
self-indulged impiety, and Luciferian attachment, which led to his 
dreadful end ; the very end, as it should seem from Lucifer's later 
conversation with Cain, that Lucifer had in view. If this be not 
reading a useful lesson to mankind, I know not what is. Yet this 
has Lord Byron done. What evils may not be avoided by attending 
to the many lessons the author has afforded us throughout these few 
pages ! Wretched Cain confesses he is " awake at last," and that " a 
dreary dream had madden'd" him. How far that will plead in his fa- 
vour, who can tell? Yet who can withstand sincere, heartfelt repent- 
ance ? The scriptures do not, I believe, say, that repentance was not 
given him of God. Yet repentance without Christ, if scripture be 
true, is of no avail : but repentance, the gift of God, ever involves 
faith in the atonement. But to presume upon repentance being given, 
is surely most irrational. Who can command God to give it? 

Enter ADAM, EVE, ADAH, and ZILLAH. 

ADAM. 

A voice of woe from Zillah brings me here. 
What do I see 1 'T is true ! My sou ! my son ! 
Woman, behold tbe serpent's work, and thine ! 

[To EVE. 

EVE. 

Oh ! speak not of it now : the serpent's fangs 
Are in my heart. My best-beloved, Abel ! 



WITH NOTES. 41 1 

Jehovah ! this is punishment beyond 
A mother's sin, to take him from me! 

ADAM. 

Who, 

Or what hath done this deed * speak Cain, since thou 
Wert present ; was it some more hostile angel, 
Who walks not with Jehovah ? or some wild 
Brute of the forest 1 

EVE. 

Ah ! a livid light 

Breaks through, as from a thunder-cloud ! yon brand, 
Massy and bloody ! snatch'd from off the altar, 
And black with smoke, and red with 

ADAM. 

Speak, my son \ 

Speak, and assure us, wretched as we are, 
That we are not more miserable still. 

ADAH. 
Speak, Cain ! and say it was not thou ! 

EVE. 

It was. 

I see it now he hangs his guilty head, 
And covers his ferocious eye with hands 
Incarnadine. 



412 CAIN, A MYSTERY. 



ADAH. 

Mother, thou dost him wrong 
Cain! clear thee from this horrible accusal, 
Which grief wrings from our parent. 

Note 72. 

Nothing can be more appropriate, or probable, than Adam's 
reflections upon his viewing the body of his no longer living son. 
And Eve's request to him to be spared the pain of being reminded 
of her own error, and the serpent's work, is equally natural. But her 
feelings carry her beyond due limits, in inducing her complaint of 
punishment from the Almighty. At least I do not consider the 
event in the light of punishment, and think her wrong in doing so. 
It was the natural effect of her transgression certainly, and for which 
transgression she was punished (if punishment it may be called) by 
being expelled from Paradise. Eve said she had repented. If so, 
she was forgiven: for supposing her repentance to have been genuine 
it was " the gift of God," with faith in the promised seed, prepara- 
tory to his pardon. And after forgiveness, there is no vindictive 
punishment. The point is, to be rationally satisfied that we have 
repented and obtained pardon. Then, and not till then, all is well. 
And although God may see fit to visit those he has pardoned in and 
through Christ with sufferings of body, or other temporal calamity, 
(perhaps often the effects of prior misconduct,) and to evince his ha- 
tred of sin ; yet such visitation is not vindictive, or even punitory ; 
but corrective, and for the sufferer's good. This therefore was no 
punishment. The very idea was probably an injection of Lucifer's into 
the mind of Eve, for obvious purposes; and there can be little doubt 
of Lucifer being then present with them, and enjoying their distress. 
Adam could not conceive it possible that any human being could have 
slain Abel. But Eve's maternal feelings, as is very much in accordance 



WITH NOTES. 413 

with nature, make her sagacious in suspecting that she saw the cause 
in the smoking and blood-stained brand. And when Adam urges 
his son to relieve them from their dreadful uncertainty, Adah, like 
herself, interposes for Cain, urging him to clear himself from an act 
of which she thought him incapable. Eve however is too much 
alive to her feelings ; and proceeds to adduce fresh proofs of Cain's 
guilt, notwithstanding Adah's remonstrance, and her again urging 
Cam to clear himself from the accusation, which, Adah says, grief 
had wrong from Eve : but all to no purpose ; and we must admire 
the author's judgment and feeling in plunging Cain into such deep 
conviction, and, without doubt, sorrow too, as to be completely 
dumb. He seems to have been too honest to deny or extenuate his 
deed. Can it be extenuated ? Had he received from Abel sufficient 
provocation, or any just provocation at all ? I fear he cannot be 
acquitted of malice ; if not originally against Abel yet certainly and 
fearfully against his maker : but afterwards, it must be confessed, ap- 
parently transferred to his brother, or at least extended to him, for 
his fidelity and fearless attachment to his God. Cain, however, has 
at least the credit of apparent conviction and sorrow. Well for him 
if genuine : it might happily lead to his renuciation of Lucifer and his 
own evil dispositions, and to salvation. Yet after what we have seen 
of him, are we prepared to think it likely that he would cease to wish 
still to " consort" with that infernal spirit ? And these are the fruits 
of his friendship for man. Of whom, a little before, when Abel 
termed him " a foe to God," Cain replied " but friend to man." 



EVE. 

Hear, Jehovah! 

May the eternal serpent's curse be on him ! 
For he was fitter for his seed than ours. 
May all his days be desolate ! May 



414 CAIN, A MYSTEUY, 



ADAH. 

Hold! 

Curse him not, mother, for he is thy son 
Curse him not, mother, for he is my brother, 
And my betroth'd. 

EVE. 

He hath left thee no brother 
Zillah no husband me no son ! for thus 
I curse him from my sight for evermore ! 
All bonds I break between us, as he broke 

That of his nature, in yon Oh death ! death ! 

Why didst thou not take me, who first incurr'd thee ? 
Why dost thou not so now ? 

ADAM. 

Eve ! let not this, 
Thy natural grief, lead to impiety ! 
A heavy doom was long forespoken to us ; 
And now that it begins, let it be borne 
In such sort as may shew our God, that we 
Are faithful servants to his holy will. 

Note. 73 

Our difficulty is, whether most to blame Eve for her excessive 
anger against Cain, and giving such way to execrations so direful ; or 
to apologize for the excitement of her feelings under such circum- 
stances. Adah's consistent interference however there is no difficulty 



WITH NOTES. 415 

in praising ; and Adam's remonstrance is equally proper, in request- 
ing of Eve that her grief may not lead to impiety. Assuredly a right 
and essential distinction. His recommendation for bearing in a pro- 
per spirit the effects of that death which had been forespoken to them, 
must be approved of. And ought not an event, that of death, when 
assuredly predicted from an authority they knew to be inviolable, to 
have been so credited by Eve, and by Adam, as to have induced 
their refraining from the act which would procure it? Our reason 
seems to convince us, that had the case been ours, we could only 
have blamed ourselves. Every-day occurrences have confirmed the 
same principle through every age of the world. But we have yet 
more to bear with from unhappy Eve. 



EVE. (Pointing to 

His will ! ! the will of yon incarnate spirit 

Of death, whom I have brought upon the earth 

To strew it with the dead. May all the curses 

Of life be on him ! and his agonies 

Drive him forth o'er the wilderness, like us 

From Eden, till his children do by him 

As he did by his brother ! May the swords 

And wings of fiery cherubim pursue him 

By day and night snakes spring up in his path 

Earth's fruits be ashes in his mouth the leaves 

On which he lays his head to sleep be strew'd 

With scorpions! May his dreams be of his victim! 

His waking a continual dread of death ! 

May the clear rivers turn to blood as he 

Stoops down to stain them with his raging lip ! 

May every element shun or change to him ! 

May he live in the pangs which others die with ! 



416 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

And death itself wax something worse than death 
To him who first acquainted him with man ! 
Hence, fratricide ! henceforth that word is Caz'w, 
Through all the coming myriads of mankind, 
Who shall abhor thee, though thou wert their sire ! 
May the grass wither from thy feet ! the woods 
Deny thee shelter ! earth a home ! the dust 
A grave ! the sun his light ! and heaven her God ! 

[Exit EVE. 

Note 74. 

I have reserved this unmeasured expression of Eve's torn heart 
and distracted mind to a Note by itself; not for what I have to say 
on it, so much as for the sake of keeping it unmixed with other mat- 
ter, on account of its peculiar painfulness to peruse, so that it may be 
the more easily, if wished to be, avoided. The author, I think, has 
done ample justice to his subject, however, in thus investing the af- 
flicted mother with a violence of feelings, which, if inconsistent with 
Christianity, is certainly less so with the state of man at that early 
period. Cain is, of course, in every view, the reverse of defensible ; 
but it is not the genius of the religion of Jesus Christ to inflict, or 
wish to inflict, unnecessary pains on those who are about to atone 
for their crimes by suffering the legitimate sentence of the law, 
whether human or divine. In the present case, the sentence against 
Cain could only be that of God, not man : and the particulars of 
which will presently appear. Meanwhile, I doubt not every allow- 
ance will be made on the other hand for Eve, who now, for the first 
time, appears to have entertained any partiality for Abel, before Cain. 
On other occasions we have seen that she seemed to regard her 
" first-born" with every proper maternal feeling. 



WITH NOTES. 417 



ADAM. 

Cain ! get thee forth: we dwell no more together. 
Depart ! and leave the dead to me I am 
Henceforth alone we never must meet more. 

ADAH. 

Oh, part not with him thus, my father : do not 
Add thy deep curse to Eve's upon his head! 

ADAM. 

I curse him not : his spirit be his curse. 
Come, Zillah ! 

ZILLAH. 
I must watch my husband's corse. 

ADAM. 

We will return again when he is gone 
Who hath provided for us this dread office. 
Come, Zillah ! 

ZILLAH. 

Yet one kiss on yon pale clay, 
And those lips once so warm my heart ! my heart ! 

[Exeunt ADAM and ZILLAH weeping. 

Note 75. 

There seems nothing objectionable in Adam's deportment, nor 
contrary to what a father and a man of good sense and right 



i 



418 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

feeling may be expected to exhibit ; unless, in reply to Adah's still 
consistent intercession, he treads too closely upon Eve's ground, in 
imprecating Cain's own spirit to be a curse to him, while he pro- 
fessed not to curse him. For to me, there is little if any difference, 
apparently. But allowance is still to be made even for Adam. 
Cain's continued silence seems to me to be very correctly imagined, 
whether we attribute it to his usual taciturn and sullen character, or 
credit him for feelings, which, if he did possess, would perhaps most 
naturally be of a kind which, in a degree, would disqualify him for 
any ready utterance. 



ADAH. 

Cam ! thou hast heard, we must go forth. I am ready, 

So shall our children be. I will bear Enoch, 

And you his sister. Ere the sun declines 

Let us depart, nor walk the wilderness 

Under the cloud of night. Nay, speak to me, 

To me thine own. 

CAIN. 
Leave me ! 



ADAH. 

Why, all have left thee. 

CAIN. 

And wherefore lingerest thou'? Dost thou not fear 
To dwell with one who hath done this? 



WITH NOTES. 41 9 

ADAH. 

I fear 

Nothing except to leave tliee, much as I 
Shrink from the deed which leaves thee brotherless. 
I must not speak of this it is between thee 
And the great God. 

Note 76. 

The author is I think still correct in the continued characters of 
Adah and Cain. The former not to be swerved from duty and attach- 
ment ; which all must approve of in her : the other, to all appearance, 
under a powerful influence of remorseful and distressed feelings. They 
seem even to have obliterated his affection for Adah, at least his 
sense of it, as they well may, and to have absorbed every other con- 
sideration. He therefore covets solitude ; and even thinks that Adah 
herself only waits his formal dismissal of her, to be induced to follow 
the example of her relatives by leaving her miserable, though rightly 
miserable, Cain. He goes so far as even to imagine she must fear 
to dwell with him. Her reply to that suggestion appears, I own, to 
be altogether what it should be, not even excepting her reference to 
the Almighty himself, as the sole arbiter of Cain's crime, and his 
fate. In all cases of crime and sin, the matter is certainly, as it 
respects the other life, solely, as Adah says, between the soul of the 
criminal and his maker. Let him be made acquainted, if he be not, 
with the only mediator between God and man. In the silence of 
the mind in solitude, let him await the gracious influences of the 
Holy Spirit to give him repentance unto life, and enable him to look 
to him, to whom the thief upon the cross directed his attention : and 
if, through the Spirit, he do so, he will be sure to find the same 
gracious acceptance and salvation. The Father denies the Son no- 
thing ; he cannot : they are One. Securing the Son, therefore, 
through the Spirit, we secure the Tather, to whom the Son is the 
E E 2 



420 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

only way. Such is the will of Jehovah Father, Son, and Spirit: 
one Jehovah. But in regard to Cain, the state of the world was then 
such, that he could receive no human judgment ; and therefore no 
other judgment than that of his maker could be passed upon him. 

A Voice from, within exclaims^ 
Cain ! Cain ! 

ADAH. 

Hear'st thou that voice? 

The Voice within. 
Cain! Cain! 

ADAH. 
It soundeth like an angel's tone. 

Enter the ANGEL of the LORD. 

ANGEL. 

Where is thy brother Abel l . 

CAIN. 

Am I then 
My brother's keeper 1 

ANGEL. 

Cain ! what hast thou done ? 
The voice of thy slain brother's blood cries out, 
Even from the ground unto the Lord ! Now art thou 



WITH NOTES. 421 

Cursed from the earth which open'd late her mouth 
To drink thy brother's blood from thy rash hand. 
Henceforth, when thou shall till the ground, it shall not 
Yield thee her strength ; a fugitive shalt thou 
Be from this day, and vagabond on earth ! 

ADAH. 

This punishment is more than he can bear. 
Behold, thou driv'st him from the face of earth, 
And from the face of God shall he be hid. 
A fugitive and vagabond on earth, 
'T will come to pass that whoso findeth him 
Shall slay him. 

CAIN. 

Would they could ! but who are they 
Shall slay me ? Where are they on the lone earth 
As yet unpeopled ? 

ANGEL. 

Thou hast slain thy brother, 
And who shall warrant thee against thy son "? 

ADAH. 

Angel of light ! be merciful, nor say 

That this poor aching breast now nourishes 

A murderer in my boy, and of his father. 

ANGEL. 

Then he would be but what his father is. 
Did not the milk of Eve give nutriment 



422 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

To him thou now see'st so besmear'd with blood ? 
The fratricide might well engender parricides. 
But it shall not be so ! the Lord thy God 
And mine commandeth me to set this seal 
On Cain, so that he may go forth in safety. 
Who slayeth Cain, a sevenfold vengeance shall 
Be taken on his head. Come hither ! 



CAIN. 

What 
Would 'st thou with me ? 

ANGEL. 

To mark upon thy brow 
Exemption from such deeds as thou hast done. 

CAIN. 
No, let me die ! 

ANGEL. 

It must not be. 
[The angel sets the mark on Cain's brow. 

CAIN. 

It burns 

My brow, but nought to that which is within it. 
Is there more 1 ? let me meet it as I may. 



WITH NOTES. 423 



ANGEL. 

Stern hast thou been and stubborn from the womb, 
As the ground thou must henceforth till ; but he 
Thou slew'st was gentle as the flocks he tended. 

CAIN. 

After the fall too soon was I begotten ; 

Ere yet my mother's mind subsided from 

The serpent, and my sire still mourn'd for Eden. 

That which I am, I am ; I did not seek 

For life, nor did I make myself; but could I 

With my own death redeem him from the dust 

And why not so "? let him return to day, 

And I lie ghastly ! so shall be restored 

By God the life to him he lov'd ; and taken 

From me a being I ne'er lov'd to bear. 

ANGEL. 

Who shall heal murder "? What is done is done. 
Go forth ! fulfil thy days ! and be thy deeds 
Unlike the last! 

[The ANGEL disappears. 

Note 77. 

Lord Byron has somewhat varied from the scriptural account, 
in making the observation Adah's, rather than Cain's, that his punish- 
ment was greater than he could bear. The author probably thought 
it more consistent with the general character of Cain, so to do. The 
marginal rendering of the Bible is " my crime, or offence, is greater 



424 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

than can be forgiven." And some persons are of opinion the pas- 
sage should be read interrogatively is my crime or offence greater 
than may be forgiven ? This last construction is even most in 
accordance with that evident regret, not to say repentance, which Lord 
Byron has attributed to Cain in his subsequent deportment and ob- 
servations ; a regret however, rather sturdy still, and quite agreeable 
to his unbending disposition. Cain need not have apprehended the 
want of population on the Earth to have ensured his destruction as 
Adah feared, had that been the divine will; because, as there 
appears every reason to believe he lived several centuries after this 
transaction, the world must have been numerously peopled long be- 
fore his death, even by others than his own immediate descendants. 
It was of course most easy for the Almighty to affect Cain with, or 
impress upon perhaps his outward form, some peculiarity, so as to 
ensure his exemption from what he seemed to anticipate, viz. the 
general abhorrence of all his fellow creatures. Cain's wish to die, 
rather than be thus stigmatized, is very natural, certainly, and has 
found imitators in all ages. But death is not annihilation. And 
what security can any thinking man find, to satisfy himself that his 
condition after the death of his body, will not be, to his spirit in- 
stantly, and to both body and spirit ultimately, beyond conception 
worse than the worst condition of human existence ? While there is 
life there is hope. If a man's crimes drive him to suicide, that is 
foolish, because sincere repentance, with corresponding dispositions 
of heart and mind, would secure his pardon with his maker, on scrip- 
tural grounds, if not with his fellow creatures. If follies, or vices, 
or unpleasing circumstances, or distressing events, be the impulsive 
motive, still there is a healing antidote for all, if men do not reject, 
but sincerely embrace, that merciful revelation from their maker, of 
which mention has been before made. In fact there is no human 
mental distress (while reason lasts) for which there is not a cure. 
And although Cain had not this resource, for which God's time was 
not arrived by many ages, yet there is no doubt God was ever acces- 
sible, even in that period of the world, to all who sought him according 



WITH NOTES. 425 

to the light they possessed. Of this, the proofs throughout scripture 
are abundant. The prospect of an unknown future state, in unknown 
society and associations, it may be with infernal and malevolent, and 
unrestrained, evil, spiritual, and powerful beings, is certainly a 
serious one. One should almost think that all who disregard it must 
be of unsound mind, were there not so much evidence of the contrary. 
In this life evil spirits, both of devils and wicked men, are restrained ; 
in the next, not. After all indeed, Cain does not appear to have been 
a suicide of his body, whatever he was of his soul. His discontent 
with existence only made him desirous, though unwisely, under all 
considerations, to be rid of it. The angel's remark upon Cain's 
native stubbornness and sternness, and on Abel's contrary temper, 
draws from Cain a sort of apologetic reply, attributing his unhappy 
character to natural causes ; or to causes partly natural, partly moral; 
but still such, as he seemed to intimate, he imagined would account 
satisfactorily, and extenuatively, for his own perverseness. This, by 
the way, was a kind of admission of the fact. But what would So- 
crates have said to him ? Would he not have replied " Granting 
thy supposition, that the circumstances of thy parents had an effect 
upon thy constitution, yet why didst thou not, as I did, by the use 
of thy reason, overcome thy evil dispositions ? The physiognomist 
who declared to me that I had naturally those vicious inclinations he 
enumerated, did not know the pains I had taken to relieve myself by 
making war upon them, until, if I might not eradicate their very 
nature, yet until I had brought them into, and by continual exercise 
kept them in, subjection, and made myself the master of myself, 
untyrannized over by the worst of tyrants ?" And who can prove this 
not to be man's duty ? But in the present state of the world, with 
such positive assistance, as revelation offers, we must be inexcusable. 
Still, at best, Cain's way of accounting for his dissatisfied, and what 
is worse, his haughty, and overbearing spirit, (if even we can acquit 
him of malice, envy, or revenge,) is altogether a poor one, and equally 
inadmissible. Much defect of moral character may be borne with, or 
forgiven. But how can a tyrannical spirit be borne with, or if borne 



425 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

with, forgiven ? Forgiven, I mean, by man to men, as men. As 
Christians, it is another matter. They forgive, even while they 
oppose, if they do oppose. Cain was probably sincere in his offer 
to substitute himself in death, for Abel. His question "why not 
so ?" savours however, still, of his presumptuous daring, as Lucifer 
called it in his parents, in pretending to question the point with, or 
or dictate to, his maker ; which, who will pretend to justify, on any 
rational ground whatever ? As for his not having sought for life, nor 
loving it, we have before considered that subject, on his previous 
declarations to the same effect. His saying that he did not make 
himself is not (in one sense) so easily granted. Because the most 
constant and common experience informs us, that wicked men do 
make themselves so : they are so voluntarily. What wicked man 
was ever heard to complain of being wicked ? or, if he did in con- 
trition and sincerity, he would assuredly be led to seek deliverance 
from his wickedness. Will society will the common consent of 
mankind, therefore, admit Cain's plea, to murderers and other atro- 
cious criminals ; especially where the crimes proceed from studied 
and deliberate self-gratification? Does even man allow self-gratifi- 
cation, in vile and infernal offences, to be an available defence, 
against the sanctions of moral and social principles ? Nothing but 
the want of reason can excuse such hellish delinquencies. They may 
obtain pardon of God if duly sought, (but to presume upon it is most 
hazardous,) but, at the tribunal of man, they must be visited. They 
ever have been, and ever will be, till civilized man himself shall be 
no more. The angel reminds Cain of the impossibility of recalling 
murder ; which, perhaps, according to our ideas of both human and 
divine law, it was not, as wanting premeditated malice ; and being 
rather the effect of immediate irritation. The angel's joining to his 
expulsion of Cain, to till a soil less yielding to him than heretofore 
an exhortation to amend his doings while it seems to imply in Lord 
Byron an idea of the possibility of Cain's ultimate repentance and 
forgiveness, (and Abel had prayed for it,) does not appear to me to 
be absolutely contradicted by scripture. But let not the possibility 



WITH NOTES. 427 

of forgiveness lead us to presumptuous acts, accompanied, not only 
by present misery, but \hepossibility also of its proving irremediable, 
in their consequences to ourselves. I say ourselves, because in this 
instance, the evil was, in fact, infinitely most against Cain himself. 
But, in truth, the hazards of voluntary evil deeds are too great for 
any rational mind to encounter; yet it is done, at all hazards. 

ADAH. 

He 's gone ; let us go forth ; 
I hear our little Enoch cry within 
Our bower. 

CAIN. 

Ah ! little knows he what he weeps for ! 
And I who have shed blood cannot shed tears ! 
But the four rivers* would not cleanse my soul. 
Think'st thou my boy will bear to look on me ? 

ADAH, 

If I thought that he would not, I would 



CAIN. (Interrupting her.) 

No, 

No more of threats : we have had too many of them : 
Go to our children ; I will follow thee. 

ADAH. 

I will not leave thee lonely with the dead ; 
Let us depart together. 

* The "four rivers" which flowed round Eden, and consequently 
the only waters with which Cain was acquainted upon the earth. 



428 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 



CAIN. 

Oh ! thou dead 

And everlasting witness ! whose unsinking 
Blood darkens the earth and heaven ! what thou now art, 
I know not ! but if thou see'st what / am, 
I think thou wilt forgive him, whom his God 
Can ne'er forgive, nor his own soul. Farewell ! 
I must not, dare not, touch what I have made thee. 
I who sprung from the same womb with thee, drained 
The same breast, clasp'd thee often to my own, 
In fondness brotherly and boyish, I 
Can never meet thee more, nor even dare 
To do that for thee, which thou should'st have done 
For me compose thy limbs into their grave 
The first grave yet dug for mortality. 
But who hath dug that grave ? Oh, Earth ! oh, Earth ! 
For all the fruits thou hast render'd to me, I 
Give thee back this. Now for the wilderness. 

[ADAH stoops down and kisses the body of ABEL. 

ADAH. 

A dreary, and an early doom, my brother, 
Has been thy lot ! Of all who mourn for thee, 
I alone must not weep. My office is 
Henceforth to dry up tears, and not to shed them; 
But yet, of all who mourn, none mourn like me, 
Not only for myself, but him who slew thee. 
Now, Cain ! I will divide thy burden with thee. 



WITH NOTES. 429 



CAIN. 

Eastward from Eden will we take our way ; 
'T is the most desolate, and suits my steps. 

ADAH. 

Lead ! thou shalt be my guide, and may our God 
Be thine ! Now let us carry forth our children. 

CAIN. 

And he who lieth there was childless. I 

Have dried the fountain of a gentle race, 

Which might have grac'd his recent marriage couch, 

And might have temper'd this stern blood of mine, 

Uniting with our children Abel's offspring ! 

O, Abel ! 

ADAH. 

Peace be with him ! 

CAIN. 

But with me ! 

{Exeunt. 

Note 78. 

Cain's remark, upon Adah's noticing the crying of the child, 
savours, still, of that inveterate antipathy to life as well as death, 
which he carried about him ; as if he meant to ascribe his child's 
tears to an infantile presentiment of his future wretchedness and 
misery, equal to his parent's. That however does not follow, as is 
well known. And as to his observation that he, though a shedder of 



430 CAIN, A MYSTERY, 

blood, could not shed tears, that also, even at the present remote 
period from his, is no strange thing. Neither are tears a certain in- 
dication of a seriously awakened conscience. They may, also, be 
hypocritical and deceitful ; while on the other hand, the strongest 
convictions, and most poignant anguish, and sincere repentance, may 
accompany the want of that frequent expression of human feeling. 
Cain, at the same time, as Lord Byron at least represents him, had 
no slight impression of the deepness of the stain he had incurred 
upon his soul his rational and accountable nature and being. This 
is the first time Cain had said a word about his soul, much less ex- 
pressed any solicitude for it. Happy if not now too late ! Neither 
his feelings however, nor those of Macbeth, and multitudes of recenter 
date, are by any means to be desired. To think lightly of mental 
anguish, is the utmost irrationality. The ancients themselves also, 
to say nothing of Christianity, are full of the folly of permitting those 
passions to rule us, which, being indulged, are sure to produce this 
misery. And when incurred, how can we depend upon even the 
will to seek to the right quarter for remedy ? The author seems to 
have well imagined these things; and has most judiciously made 
Cain repress even Adah's rising displeasure against her own " sweet 
Enoch" on the remotest idea of his not " bearing to look" upon his 
fether, as Cain's right feelings had made him suggest. Cain already 
seems to improve. Not that I mean to excuse him ; or to anticipate 
his repentance with certainty; but wherever we conceive genuine 
repentance to exist, it is impossible to resist it. Cain seems sensible 
of his fault by thus repressing in Adah the distant imitation of it by 
introductory threats, of which from himself to Abel, we have seen the 
fatal results. But Adah's refusal, again, to leave him, as he desires, 
alone with Abel's lifeless body, will reinstate her in our favour. It 
is quite unnecessary to comment particularly upon each sentence of 
Cain's following apostrophizing address to his dead brother. But 
who will not sympathize and go along with Cain in it ? Who can 
forbear wishing that such in reality may have been his state of mind ? 
Yet we cannot help remarking more especially his correct and un- 



WITH NOTES. 431 

forgiving feeling towards himself. As to Abel, his forgiveness he 
needed not to have doubted : it had been given ; and God's pardon also 
was implored, with Abel's expiring breath. Abel was too happy in 
his God, not to forgive, and wish well to, all with whom he was con- 
cerned. So his Redeemer, afterwards. So the first martyr, Stephen. 
And so the multitudes besides who have since been immolated by 
the murderous spirit of intolerance. Nor is all remorse, or sorrow, 
real repentance, by any means. Remorse and sorrow may spring 
from other sources than a radical change of mind. Yet Cain's re- 
miniscences of his early associations with his brother are highly 
amiable. He asks lifeless Abel once however, " why wouldst thou 
oppose me ?" But may not Cain be asked if he was right in insist- 
ing upon doing that which Abel opposed ? And was Abel worse 
than heroic and faithful to his God in opposing it ? And was not 
Cain tyrannical in enforcing his unjust will by violence ? As to 
Cain's despairing of God's forgiveness, it is natural. How could it 
be otherwise, considering his rebellious speeches, and his hatred to 
his maker? But still, God is not man. And, in the person of Jesus 
Christ, he has said, that every sin, without exception, but the rejec- 
tion of the Holy Spirit, shall be forgiven to man, in the way his 
Gospel offers. Cain's concluding lamentation over Abel is certainly 
tender, if we may suppose that Cain's regret, for the sternness of his 
own blood, was unmixed with any degree of approbation or admira- 
tion of it, at the same time. And on Adah's final valediction to Abel, 
Cain, to the last, seems to be affected with a very just feeling of the 
want of that peace, of which we would indulge a hope he had now 
some apprehension; and which apprehension, if duly cultivated, 
may, in all cases, be expected to lead to its still more happy 
acquisition. 



It is not for me to apologize for my defects in the foregoing 
Notes ; they are not voluntary : but, just before their issuing from 
the press, a small work has come to my hands, which has induced 



432 CAIN, A MYSTERY, ETC. 

my feeling the deficiency of my comment in-Note 52, on Lucifer's 
telling Cain of his "state of sin." On that topic I confess there 
might well have been some enlargement. But I am not a preacher : 
I have, as I ought, disclaimed entrenching upon that higher office, 
even were I qualified ; and trust that I have confined myself (talis 
qualis) to my business of lay annotator, as faithfully as I have been 
able. Still the subject of sin is not unimportant in my estimation, 
as it regards either myself or others. And I feel I should be volun- 
tarily defective, were I to omit earnestly inviting my readers (if it 
please God 1 have readers) to connect with these Notes, the perusal of 
the small work above alluded to, and which consists of Six Short 
Lectures on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, preached, during the 
last Lent, in the Parish Church of Bradford Abbas, near Yeovil, 
Somerset, by the Rev. R. GRANT, the Vicar. To eulogize these 
elegant, though plain, spiritual, and faithful discourses of, clearly, a 
faithful minister of Christ, and of that Gospel and revelation which 
it has been the sincere, however imperfectly executed aim, even of this 
book, to advocate, is needless and would be improper. To select 
any extract from those lectures might not be easy. I only wish the 
opportunity to be given them of speaking for themselves ; being con- 
fident, that should any approve of my own homely fare, they will be 
much pleased with the provision I now propose to their acceptance, 
not abundant indeed in quantity, but richly so, and most wholesome 
at the same time, in quality. Therefore I think myself justified in 
thus suggesting that little production strictly as supplemental to my 
own, in the way, and for the purpose, I have stated ; convinced, that 
all who deem religion to be a matter of the heart, and life as well as 
(to say the least) of the head, these lectures will be most cordially 
received. They are published by Hatchard and Son, Piccadilly, 
price 3s. and the profits of their publication are stated to be applied 
in aid of the funds of the Sunday School instituted in the parish. 



W. H. BIRCHALL, PRINTER, 5, ST. JAMES'S PL. CLERKENWELL, LONDON. 







PRAT1 

MAR 2 1992 



LIBRARY 
OCT21 907 







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